After three separate criminal incidents involving students from Saudi Arabia, Missouri State University is considering adding a police presentation to its international student orientation, The Springfield News-Leaderreported. Two Saudi students at Missouri State are charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman this weekend and are being held on $1 million bond. In March, another Saudi student at the university was charged with domestic assault; in January, one was sentenced to 120 days in jail and four years' probation after hitting a pedestrian with his car.
“We are looking at whether there is something we can be doing to help prevent these instances,” Stephen Robinette, Missouri State’s associate vice president for international programs, told the newspaper. Robinette described all three incidents as serious but random, noting, “It is not just associated with Saudi students.”
Missouri State has experienced a rapid growth in its numbers of international students in recent years. According to the News-Leader, there were 1,426 international students enrolled in the fall. More than half these students (805) were Chinese; 244 students from Saudi Arabia made up the second-largest group.
The University of Salford, in England, has announced plans to eliminate its School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, Times Higher Educationreported. The university plans to cease recruiting students for all courses in modern languages and linguistics and politics and contemporary history – with the exception of postgraduate programs in security studies – after this year, leading to the eventual closure of the school. The university has pledged that all students currently enrolled and those who are entering this fall will be able to complete their programs.
A Salford spokesman told Times Higher Education that the “changes are as a result of changing demand within higher education and from employers. We are continuing to recruit strongly in our key areas of strength such as media, technology, science, engineering and health, but other areas are showing low levels of interest from applicants."
“The university remains strong and financially healthy with a projected surplus for this year, and these changes are about ensuring that we can use our resources to benefit students in areas that are in demand with employers," the spokesman said.
A former associate professor of law at the National University of Singapore was sentenced to five months of prison for having sex with a student and accepting gifts from her, Bloombergreported. The judge imposed a longer jail sentence than that which was sought by prosecutors, stating that “corruption must be stamped out effectively and swiftly.” The professor, Tey Tsun Hang, is accused of seeking expensive gifts and abusing his position of authority over the student. Tey maintains that the relationship was consensual. His lawyer has indicated plans to appeal.
Queen's University in Canada is apologizing for having asked a student to remove his underwear art from an exhibit to be presented to donors, The Toronto Star reported. David Woodward, the student, was among those asked to participate, but organizers asked him to take down his art when they saw it. The work he was to have presented, "All I Am Is What I've Felt," consists of images and words written on white men's briefs. He said that he considers the work to be about gender, sexuality and intimacy. The underwear art (tame in comparison to student art that has caused controversy elsewhere) may be viewed here.
Syracuse University announced Monday that it will bring its 20 students in Istanbul, scheduled to return on Sunday, back on Wednesday instead, in light of the unrest in Turkey. Other universities preparing for summer programs in Istanbul have been monitoring the situation there.
The Hürriyet Daily News,meanwhile, reported that some universities in Turkey are postponing final exams because of the protests.
Study abroad officials are carefully tracking events in Turkey, where large protests in Istanbul and elsewhere have led to clashes with police. Syracuse University has 20 students in Istanbul, about to finish up a semester program. Margaret Himley, associate provost for international education and engagement, said via e-mail that students are scheduled to leave Sunday and "we are carefully monitoring the situation and talking with students about what these demonstrations mean and about what precautions they should be taking." A number of other institutions have summer programs about to start in Turkey. Jim Butterfield, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University, said that he is scheduled to accompany five students to Istanbul in three weeks. He said that "we're monitoring developments." Julie Anne Friend, associate director for international safety and security at Northwestern University, which will be sending students to Turkey for a program that starts July 1, said via e-mail that "we are not considering suspension at this time, but will, of course continue to monitor the situation."
Canadian universities have been seeing steady growth in international enrollments, but only minimal interest from Americans, many of whom could potentially save a lot of money and (for those in some Northern states) enroll at institutions very close to home. An article in The Globe and Mail describes new efforts by some Canadian universities seeking to attract more American students. Special scholarships and increased marketing efforts are being tried by several universities.
More than 46,500 American students were pursuing full degrees abroad in 2011-12, according to a new report released by the Institute of International Education. This represented about a 5 percent increase from the year prior. Of those going abroad, about 42 percent are enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively, with the remaining 16 percent pursuing doctorates.
The report is based on data from 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, the largest host of American students. (Other countries in the sample are Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, China, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Denmark and Malaysia.) The numbers do not include students who study abroad as part of a course of study at a U.S. institution.
In death as in life, Margaret Thatcher's relationship to her alma mater, the University of Oxford, is contentious. The Oxford college she attended is currently raising funds for scholarships to be named for the late prime minister. But on Wednesday, London Mayor Boris Johnson denounced the university for not doing more, BBC reported. He noted that Thatcher was the first Oxford graduate after World War II who became prime minister and was never awarded an honorary doctorate. Professors blocked a move to award her the honor in 1995. Johnson called on Oxford to name a college after Thatcher. Many British academics hated Thatcher and her policies, which they viewed as taking away government support from the institution. But Johnson said that Oxford and other universities, which today depend on tuition revenue from foreign students, should remember that Thatcher's policies made it possible for universities to gain financially from such enrollments.
"I'm still waiting for the Oxford dons to accept the gravity of their error and, in the spirit of magnanimity, to award Baroness Thatcher not only a posthumous doctorate, but why not endow a college?" Johnson said. "Why not have a college in honor of their greatest post-war benefactress as they rake in the doubloons from international student fees?"
The university said that it has no plans to create additional colleges.