Quick Takes: Ethics Sought for Foreign Recruiting, Worldwide Crisis in Higher Ed Support, Partner Benefits at Palm Beach, Preventing Student Suicides, 84 GMAT Scores Canceled, Down From the Tree, Pets Allowed

September 10, 2008
  • A new group -- the American International Recruitment Council -- has been formed to try to create and encourage the adoption of ethical standards for agents hired by American colleges that recruit students abroad. The use of such agents is controversial -- and while the group's founders see a path toward ethical standards, some educators question whether colleges should be using agents at all.
  • Booming enrollments in higher education around the world are creating financial crises as many nations are unable to keep spending levels up to support the additional students, according to this year's version of "Education at a Glance," the annual study of education at all levels by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden, spending per student has dropped over the last decade. Declines have started since 2000 in Belgium, Germany and Ireland.
  • The board of Palm Beach Community College has approved an 18-month pilot program to offer domestic partner benefits for employees, The Sun Sentinel reported. The college's board has previously rejected proposals to add the benefit, or delayed a vote, and many advocates for gay rights were furious at the college last year when, after refusing to approve partner benefits, the college added a benefit for pet health insurance.
  • A pilot intervention program designed to identify students at risk of suicide succeeded in providing treatment to many students with severe depression, likely preventing some suicides, according to a study in the journal Depression and Anxiety. The pilot took place at Emory University and involved a Web-based survey that allowed health professionals to tell students if they had signs of severe depression and to reach out to those students with options for treatment.
  • The Graduate Management Admissions Council on Tuesday announced that it was canceling the scores of 84 people who had taken the GMAT, the primary admissions test for M.B.A. programs, because of their roles in placing or seeing information on a Web site in violation of testing procedures. Twelve of the 84 posted live questions on the Web site and they will be barred for three years from taking the GMAT. The other 72 saw items from the site on their GMAT tests. They were not barred from retaking the test.
  • The last of the tree-sitting protesters at the University of California at Berkeley is back on the ground. The Los Angeles Times reported that, following legal losses, the few remaining people trying to save a grove of trees that stood in the way of a construction fight ended their 21-month long effort.
  • This is the time of year that many colleges find themselves telling students that they need to leave their pets at home. But as The Boston Globe reported, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is trying a different approach. While strictly enforcing no-pet rules in most dormitories, it is allowing cats in 4 of its 11 undergraduate dormitories. Rules still apply before felines can enroll -- they must have their shots, be spayed or neutered, and stay inside.
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