Pearson, which has partnered with several dozen colleges in the U.S. and a handful in Australia to take their programs online, last week announced its first such partner in the U.K.: the University of Exeter. The university expects to have its first online courses live by fall 2016, according to a press release. Beyond offering programs online, the partnership also includes a plan to research the U.K.'s new vocational Degree Apprenticeships and students' "learning gain."
Higher Education Quick Takes
Immigrants to the United States are making up a larger share than in the past of the science and engineering workforce, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation. Among the data points in the study:
- From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the U.S. rose from 21.6 million to 29 million. A key subset of that increase was a rise in the number of immigrant scientists and engineers, which went from 3.4 million to 5.2 million.
- Immigrants went from making up 16 percent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 percent.
- The number of immigrant scientists from India increased 85 percent from 2003 to 2013. Other countries of origin and their increases include: the Philippines at 53 percent and China (including Hong Kong and Macau) at 34 percent.
An article in The Times Free Press explores how free community college is changing enrollment patterns in the Chattanooga area. Enrollment of new high school graduates is up 17 percent at Cleveland State Community College and 60 percent at Chattanooga State Community College. But the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga saw its freshman enrollment of recent high school graduates drop 13 percent.
Santa Clara University says it plans to move ahead with a talk by columnist George Will despite some resistance from students and alumni.
"Mr. Will is a prominent conservative commentator, and we believe our community would benefit from healthy intellectual debate," Deepa Arora, director of communications at Santa Clara, said in a statement emailed to Inside Higher Ed. "The leadership of Santa Clara University is sensitive to concerns raised by students and faculty about a column which expressed a controversial point of view about the way campus sexual assault is handled on some campuses. While some campus members disagree with Mr. Will on his stance in that article, we urge his critics to continue to respect the university’s role as a place for discourse and free speech -- even speech with which we may not agree."
A Change.org petition with more than 250 supporters (so far) says, "We are extremely disappointed that George Will will be speaking at Santa Clara University. … Will has repeatedly issued statements that both trivialize the problem of campus sexual assaults and invalidate the experiences and feelings of sexual assault survivors. Moreover, his recent claim that national and local efforts to combat campus rape have made 'victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges' is not merely misguided, but deeply misogynistic and ignorant."
Last year, Scripps College rescinded an invitation for Will to speak, citing a column in which Will referred to a "supposed campus epidemic of rape."
Trinity College in Connecticut has announced that it is dropping the requirement that undergraduate applicants include SAT or ACT scores. "Research has proven that high school [grade point average] is a stronger predictor of success in college than are standardized test scores," says a statement from Angel Perez, vice president for enrollment and student success. But the statement also says that becoming test optional doesn't go far enough. So Trinity now plans to ask counselors and applicants to highlight qualities that may not be reflected in grades alone, and will consider evidence of such qualities as curiosity, optimism, persistence, grit and creativity.
New York University on Monday announced a $100 million gift, which will primarily support faculty hiring and academic programs at the university's engineering school. The school will be renamed to honor the donors, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon.
The UNCF on Monday announced a $50 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. The funds will be used to award competitive grants to four-year historically black colleges and universities and to predominantly black institutions "to help students gain the knowledge, preparation, insight and skills needed for meaningful employment in a technology-driven, global economy."
Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen’s University in Canada were this morning named the winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. They were honored “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.”
Donald Trump, a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said the deaths at Umpqua Community College on Thursday would have been minimized had instructors been armed, CNN reported. "By the way, it was a gun-free zone," he said at a campaign event in Tennessee. "Let me tell you, if you had a couple teachers with guns in that room, you would have been a hell of a lot better off."