The U.S. and China reciprocally agreed to extend terms for short-term visas, including student visas, earlier this week during President Obama’s state visit. According to the U.S. Department of State, Chinese students and dependents on F, M or J visas are now eligible for multiple-entry visas valid for up to five years or the length of their program.
“Until now, many Chinese students who left the United States for short visits abroad were required to apply for new visas,” a State Department fact sheet explains. “Under the new arrangement, Chinese students will find it easier and more convenient to return home because in many cases they will not be required to obtain new visas prior to returning to the United States to study.”
American students headed to China will be eligible for residency permits valid for up to five years.
Some academics in Australia are accusing universities of admitting “functionally illiterate” international students and tolerating widespread cheating because they are “addicted” to the fees these students pay, the Sydney Morning Heraldreported. The academics spoke to the newspaper in the wake of its investigation into a Sydney-based essay-writing company that targeted its services to international students. Universities contacted for the story said that the problem involves only a small number of students and that systems are in place to detect cheating.
North Carolina State University says that a professor there will apologize to his students for making "an offensive statement in jest." A statement from the university says that "the professor realizes that his statement devalued the heritage of some students and was inappropriate for the classroom or anywhere else on the university's campus." Further, the department head will meet with any concerned students.
The university did not name the professor or say what he said. But WTVD News reported that the professor was Charles Hardin and that, when he was returning exams in a biochemistry course, he had difficulty reading some names and said that students should "Americanize" their names "because this is America." Hardin did not respond to a request for comment.
University leaders in Norway are working against a government plan to force them to charge tuition to students from outside the European Union, News in English Norway reported. Tuition is free in Norway -- for Norwegians and others -- but the new government has adopted a budget that assumes charges of about $15,000 for those outside the European Union. Norwegian academics note that when Sweden started charging foreign students, its foreign enrollments fell. Some universities in Norway are exploring ways to pay the foreign students' tuition so that the institutions can continue to enroll students from many parts of the world. Dag Rune Olsen, dean of the University of Bergen, told the newspaper Aftenposten, “We may need to admit fewer [foreign students], but I don’t think we can demand so much money from this group of students. We believe those foreign students who come to us are a very good investment in our future international network. They are good students but not necessarily able to pay tuition.”
A year after it voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions, American Studies Association is sticking to its guns. But it wants to broaden its public image, and demonstrate involvement in activism beyond Middle East.
The boyfriend of the nurse at the center of the controversy over Ebola quarantines has withdrawn from his accelerated nursing program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent due to concerns about the university’s handling of the situation, the Portland Press Heraldreported. Ted Wilbur, whose girlfriend, Kaci Hickox, fought government efforts to enforce a mandatory quarantine after she returned from volunteering as a nurse in West Africa, had agreed to temporarily stay away the university “under duress” and opted to withdraw from the program after university officials declined to preemptively communicate to students that any harassment or threats against him would not be tolerated upon his return to campus. (University officials reportedly told him that there had been threats against him.)
“They didn’t show any leadership or support to me and they had an opportunity, as a nursing school, to act like a medical community, and they didn’t,” Wilbur said.
A spokesman for the University of Maine system, Dan Demeritt, told the newspaper that the university had worked hard to address “community concerns” about the Ebola virus. “Unfortunately he feels we weren’t accommodating enough, but we worked hard to balance the students’ needs and the overall concerns of the campus and the community.”
International graduate students are faced with an added challenge on the U.S. job market -- get a job or go home -- but it's possible to turn their foreignness to their advantage, Christopher Garland writes.