international

University Says BBC Endangered Students on North Korea Trip

London School of Economics claims that three undercover BBC reporters who accompanied a student group on a trip to North Korea put the students at risk, The Telegraph reported. The journalists, who feigned affiliation with LSE, accompanied 10 students to North Korea, where they conducted filming for a documentary that’s scheduled to air today.

“At no point prior to the trip was it made clear to the students that a BBC team of three had planned to use the trip as cover for a major documentary to be shown on [the BBC program] ‘Panorama,’ ” LSE officials said in an email sent to students and staff.

"It is LSE's view that the students were not given enough information to enable informed consent, yet were given enough to put them in serious danger if the subterfuge had been uncovered prior to their departure from North Korea.”

The BBC maintains that students were twice warned that a (single) journalist would be coming on the trip. "The students were all explicitly warned about the potential risks of traveling to North Korea with the journalist as part of their group,” a spokeswoman for "Panorama" said. "This included a warning about the risk of arrest and detention and that they might not be allowed to return to North Korea in the future."

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Report offers advice for forming partnerships with universities in Myanmar

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New report offers recommendations for forming partnerships with universities in rapidly changing country.

English Language Institute Said to Be Front for Prostitution

The president and other school officials at College Prep Academy, an English language institution in Duluth, Georgia, have been indicted for immigration fraud after an investigation revealed that they allegedly enrolled foreign female students with the understanding that they would not attend class but instead would work as prostitutes in local bars. The school, which was certified to sponsor students on F-1 visas in 2009, listed up to 100 students as enrolled even though federal prosecutors claim that fewer than half that number attended class.

“These defendants are charged with using a student visa program as a front to cashing in on bringing immigrants here to work in local bars,"  U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "From manufacturing false documents, to charging thousands of dollars in tuition payments to maintain the immigrants on their rolls, the defendants are charged with subverting the purpose of the student visa program for profit."

ICE reports that students who are legitimately enrolled in College Prep Academy will be given the option of transferring to another institution or leaving the country.

Calls to College Prep Academy’s listed number were not answered on Friday afternoon.

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Swiss Universities Become More Popular With Foreign Students

Swiss universities -- with high quality and low tuition rates -- are enrolling larger proportions of foreign students, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation reported. In 1990, foreign enrollments made up 23 percent of the Swiss student body. Today that figure is 38 percent. While educators are proud of the quality of students being attracted, some officials question whether the country can afford to educate so many people from elsewhere.

 

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New Analysis of Global University Rankings

The European University Association has released a new analysis of the state of global university rankings. Various evaluation systems continue to proliferate and existing ones refine their methodologies, the report says. But some things do not change. The study notes "biases and flaws" that favor elite universities. Further, the report says that most rankings -- which tend to focus on research - "still not able to do justice to research carried out in the area of arts, humanities and social sciences."

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RMIT Rejects Iranian and Syrian Students

RMIT University, in Melbourne, is attracting criticism for its decision to reject all applications from Iranian and Syrian students because of government sanctions, The Courier-Mail reported. However, a spokesperson from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there are no blanket bans that would prevent the admission of students from these countries.

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Washington State lawmakers propose surcharge on international student tuition

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In Washington state, legislators propose a 20 percent surcharge on international student tuition. The universities worry that students will stop coming.

Report finds lingering racism in British higher education

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Report finds that minority scholars continue to face bias.

Watching Korean Developments, but Not Changing Plans

North Korea has been warning foreigners to leave South Korea. But early indications are that American students and those leading American programs in South Korea are monitoring developments, but not changing their plans. WKYT News covered a group of students from Eastern Kentucky University who are in South Korea and who reported nervous families at home, but no problems more serious than that. And The Times Beacon Record reported on how officials at the State University of New York at Buffalo, which recently opened a campus in South Korea, say that everything is continuing there, despite the threats from the north. By not leaving the country, the American students and academics are following the advice of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, which is not recommending changes in travel plans to South Korea.

 

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Calls for Resignation of Russia’s Education Minister

Russia’s education and science minister is facing calls to resign, The Moscow Times reported. Among other things, Dmitry Livanov has attracted controversy for seeking to shut down “ineffective universities” and decrease the number of state-funded placements, and for calling Russia’s Academy of Sciences futureless and unsustainable. One critic quoted by the paper said of Livanov that "he is not an education minister; he is a minister of the liquidation of education."

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