international

New report shows dependence of U.S. graduate programs on foreign students.

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New report provides breakdown on international enrollments by discipline and institution, showing that there are graduate STEM programs in which more than 90 percent of students are from outside the U.S.

Chinese Scientist Accused of Stealing Drug Pleads to Lesser Charge

A Chinese scientist accused of stealing three vials of a potential anti-cancer drug compound from the Medical College of Wisconsin has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of illegally accessing a computer; a charge of economic espionage was dropped, NBC News reported.  Hua Jun Zhao faces up to a $250,000 fine and five years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for next month.

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Study Abroad Positively Impacts Personality, Study Says

Students who spend a semester or year abroad show positive changes in their personality, according to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers at Germany’s Friedrich Schiller University Jena surveyed more than 1,100 students, including 527 who studied abroad and a control group of 607 who did not, on measures associated with the “Big Five” personality traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, and openness). They found significant differences between the two groups even after controlling for higher levels of extraversion, open-mindedness and conscientiousness exhibited by study abroad students before leaving home.

"Those who spent some time abroad profit in their personality development, for instance in terms of growing openness and emotional stability," Julia Zimmermann, the lead author, said in a press release. "Their development regarding these characteristics clearly differed from the control group even when initial personality differences were taken into account."

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London Mayor Criticized for Saying Women Go to College for Husbands

London Mayor Boris Johnson is under attack for a quip suggesting that female students are still after Mrs. degrees. Times Higher Education reported that Johnson was on a panel on which Malaysia's prime minister was talking about the increasing number of women enrolling. Johnson said that women "have got to find men to marry." Twitter is full of outrage over the comment. One comment: "Women go to university to bag themselves a husband! Sure, it still being 1953!" Another: "Does this mean I can get a refund on my student loan?! Didn't find a husband at my uni... “

Professor Faces Ouster From Peking U.

Xia Yeliang, an economics professor at Peking University, has confirmed to The South China Morning Post that his department will be voting on whether to expel him. Xia has written and spoken out critically about Chinese government policies. He is currently a visiting professor at Stanford University but plans to return to Beijing to defend his right to speak out and hold a faculty position at Peking University. "This is not coming from Peking University, this is coming from the central leadership," Xia said. "The state of academic freedom is getting worse and worse. Nowadays, you don't have the right to debate anymore. A university is a place that should be free and open."

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British Study: Mismatch in Parents' Education/Jobs Level Affects Students' View of College

Students whose parents have university degrees but are working in jobs that don't typically require such a degree were likelier than their peers to question the value of applying to college, a new study of British college-aged youth finds. The study, conducted by Britain's Strategies Society Centre and funded by Universities UK and Pearson, compares the college-going aspirations and behavior of a group of academically qualified and interested British students who considered not applying to a university and those who never had any such hesitation. It is published in the wake of the British government's decision to significantly increase tuition levels.

The report provides a wealth of information about which factors are likeliest to deter students from considering enrolling and from ultimately doing so. In general, the data back up the conventional wisdom that students from economically disadvantaged families are more likely than their peers to consider not applying to attend a university. But while having a parent with a university education generally made students less likely to express concern about applying to college, that pattern did not hold true for those at lower socioeconomic levels.

“It seems that when young people weigh up the costs and benefits of higher education, the experience of their parents is paramount,” said James Lloyd, director of the Strategic Society Centre.

Evacuations from Egypt

The U.S. Department of State strengthened its warning against travel to Egypt on Wednesday and is now urging American citizens to leave the country, likely prompting another round of evacuations of American students on study abroad programs. The Arabic Overseas Flagship Program, which enrolls 18 students from five American universities, announced that it was relocating from Egypt to Morocco earlier this week.

Among the other evacuations so far, a spokeswoman for AMIDEAST, a nonprofit organization that runs study abroad programs in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, and Tunisia, said that all 26 of its students in Egypt have left, with many electing to join AMIDEAST programs in other countries. ABC News reported that Fulbright program participants are being required to leave the country. Southern California Public Radio reported that the University of California at Davis has brought home a group of ten students on a faculty-led study abroad program focused on Egyptian authors and filmmakers, as well as the faculty member and her son. The Austin American-Statesman reported that 30 students on the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Arabic Study Abroad program, which is based at the American University in Cairo, are being flown to a safe place. The program will determine, after six days, whether it is safe to return to Egypt.

The American University in Cairo, which originally had 95 American students enrolled this summer, is not requiring students to leave, a spokeswoman said. Students there have the option of taking their courses in their dormitory or, if they choose to evacuate, completing their studies online. The university's two campuses, in Tahrir Square and New Cairo, remain closed through Saturday.

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British universities see parents as targets for admissions and fund-raising

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British universities start to focus on parents -- to recruit students and to solicit gifts.

Arabic Program to Relocate From Egypt to Morocco

The Arabic Overseas Flagship Program is relocating from Alexandria, Egypt to Meknes, Morocco, having determined that restrictions in place to ensure students’ safety were undermining opportunities for informal language and cultural learning. 

Demonstrations against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi have swelled in the last week; an American college student in Alexandria was fatally stabbed on Friday while observing a protest. The U.S. State Department has warned against non-essential travel to Egypt in light of the growing political and social unrest, prompting universities to reevaluate their study abroad programs there.

“In recent days, it had become clear that in order to guarantee the safety of our students in Egypt, it had become necessary to establish curfews and limitations on their movements (including escort and shuttle arrangements to and from classes at the university), [meaning that] the students were essentially having to give up many of the kinds of informal language contacts and cultural exploration that overseas immersion study is designed to provide,” Dan Davidson, the president of the American Councils for International Education, which administers the program, said in an email.

“It was as much a concern for the quality of the learning experience available to our students under present conditions in Egypt, as it was immediate specific concerns about the students' immediate personal safety” that the decision was made to relocate the program to Morocco beginning July 6, Davidson said. The program's Egyptian partner institution, Alexandria University, will be transferring some of its language teachers to Morocco to continue working with students.

The yearlong Arabic Overseas Flagship Program began in early June and involves 18 students from five U.S. universities. The Flagship language programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Security Education Program.

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An uncertain situation for study abroad in Egypt

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Amid rising protests and following the death of an American student, the future of study abroad in Egypt is once again uncertain.

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