Navitas, Western Kentucky End International Partnership

Navitas, an Australia-based company that develops and recruits international students into “pathway programs” that combine English as a second language and academic course work, announced this week that it is ending its partnership with Western Kentucky University after more than five years of operation.

​​Western Kentucky was one of the earliest U.S. institutions to join with corporate partners to create such pathway programs. The contract that Navitas and Western Kentucky signed in 2010 was for a 10-year term.

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Israeli University Breaks Ground on China Campus

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology broke ground Wednesday on a campus in China. Technion is partnering with Shantou University to establish the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The plan is for the new institution to enroll its first class of 100 chemical engineering students in 2016 and to eventually grow to 5,000 students -- 4,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students.

Technion received a $130 million gift from the Li Ka-Shing Foundation in 2013 to support development of the campus, which will be built on land granted by the Guangdong provincial government and the Shantou municipal government.

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Council of Graduate Schools survey records 5 percent growth in first-time international enrollments

The number of first-time international graduate students at U.S. graduate schools increased by 5 percent this fall. More than three-quarters of new students are in master's and certificate programs.

Instead of Campus, Texas A&M Plans Institute in Israel

Texas A&M University and the University of Haifa on Monday announced plans to establish a joint institute for marine science research in Israel. The universities said they will invest $5.5 million to establish the Texas A&M -- University of Haifa Eastern Mediterranean Observatory on Haifa's campus.

Texas A&M has backed away from more ambitious plans announced in 2013 to develop a full-fledged branch campus elsewhere in Israel, in the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth.

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An academic faces online criticism after blog post about Indonesian-U.S. relations


Swiss academic based in Britain finds himself under attack over blog post about meeting between Indonesian and U.S. presidents.

Student ordered to remove Palestinian flag alleges free speech violation

A student at George Washington U receives a police visit and a warning for hanging a Palestinian flag from his dorm window. Is a residence life policy being selectively enforced?

Trump Calls for Ban on Muslims Entering U.S.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Monday for banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”

A written statement put out by Trump’s campaign in the wake of terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris cited “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”

“Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” said Trump, who is the front-runner among the Republican candidates. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

Trump’s statement provoked immediate criticism. "One has to wonder what Donald Trump will say next as he ramps up his anti-Muslim bigotry,” Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Washington Post. “Where is there left for him to go? Are we talking internment camps? Are we talking the final solution to the Muslim question? I feel like I'm back in the 1930s.”

Some of Trump’s competitors for the Republican presidential nomination also took to Twitter to condemn his proposal. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tweeted, “Donald Trump is unhinged. His 'policy' proposals are not serious.” U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, tweeted, “@Realdonaldtrump has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.”

The leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, called Trump’s proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.”

Trump’s campaign has been marked by his nativist rhetoric and policy proposals. In August, however, he expressed support for international students, tweeting, “When foreigners attend our great colleges and want to stay in the U.S., they should not be thrown out of our country.”

Nearly one million international students came to U.S. colleges and universities in 2014-15, according to a report published by the Institute of International Education. The report does not include data on international students’ religious affiliations, but more than 100,000 of those students hailed from the Middle East and North Africa regions.

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Former Chinese Admissions Official Admits Accepting Bribes

A former admissions director at a Chinese university admitted accepting millions of dollars in bribes, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors said Cai Rongsheng, the former head of admissions at Renmin University in Beijing, received $3.6 million between 2005 and 2013 in exchange for helping 44 students gain admission or change majors.

The case is part of a broader crackdown on corruption involving Chinese university administrators.

Debate over essay question and role of Brazil's admissions exam


A controversial question is both praised and criticized, drawing attention to the powerful role of a single test.

English or Afrikaans at a South African University?

Stellenbosch University’s governing council has set aside a November proposal by university management to elevate English above Afrikaans as the institution’s primary language of instruction and communication in favor of keeping a 2014 policy that grants the languages equal status.

Some students at the South African university see the council’s decision as a rejection of inclusiveness and university transformation, as News 24 reported. Students argue that many black students fail because they struggle with Afrikaans.

In a statement, George Steyn, the chairman of the university council, disputed the characterization of the council’s actions as exclusionary. Steyn said university management “would like to provide full support in English to students who have an insufficient command of Afrikaans, without it being to the detriment of the Afrikaans academic offering.”

"I regard the council's motion as a very strong signal to all stakeholders of the university that we are committed to inclusivity and the expansion of teaching languages at the institution,” Steyn said. “For us multilingualism is a strategic asset; it makes us unique and gives us a competitive advantage over other institutions."

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