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The following developments received coverage in Inside Higher Ed this week:

  • Inside Higher Ed offered an exclusive look at the Trump administration's plans to "rethink" higher education by reimagining the federal government's approach to regulating accreditors. Pegged to the announcement of a new round of rule making on such topics as the credit hour, "regular and substantive" contact between instructors and students in online programs, and the role of outside providers in delivering academic programs, a top Education Department official laid out the administration's agenda, which would tilt toward encouraging innovation over the more aggressive consumer protection stance favored by the Obama administration. Consumer advocates are not pleased.
  • Credential Engine -- an ambitious effort to help gauge the value of academic credentials by creating a centralized database of information about postsecondary degrees, certificates and other credentials -- is making progress, but the end goal seems as far away as ever.
  • A new study purports to show a causal link between cellphone and laptop use during class and poorer exam scores.
  • Another study described some of the trade-offs students say they make to afford textbooks -- 43 percent said they skipped meals, 31 percent registered for fewer classes and 69 percent worked a job during the school year.
  • Employers in the manufacturing industry use credentials inconsistently, generally not relying on them as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions, according to the results of a survey.

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