The skills students learn from a vocational education may ease their transition into the labor market, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. However, those initial labor-market advantages fade as workers age. The study found that individuals with a general education are more likely to be employed at age 50 than are those with a vocational education. A general education was particularly helpful in countries that experienced faster economic growth and larger technological change.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The American Council on Education announced Monday that it and the other "presidential" higher education associations have created a new Commission on Higher Education Attainment. Among the issues the panel will address:
- The changing nature of students seeking a degree or credential.
- The ability of higher education to attract, retain and graduate the increasing number of adults seeking a degree or credential.
- The current capacity of higher education to accommodate the large number of students who will need to enroll if we are to increase the number of graduates.
- The opportunities to increase efficiency and enhance productivity in meaningful ways.
E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, will serve as chair. There are also three vice chairs: Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University; Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York; and George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College.
Currently, there are no faculty members on the panel. Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said that the members named thus far will be holding an organizational meeting and may well decide to add other members. He said it was "quite possible" that faculty members would be named at a later date.
In today’s Academic Minute, Charles Rupprecht of Emory University discusses the likelihood of rabies exposure and outlines efforts to control the disease in wild animal populations. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
Investigations are starting and fans are embarrassed after a massive brawl broke out Saturday night between athletes and some of the fans who had watched a football game between Southern University at Baton Rouge and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, WAFB News reported. The network has footage of some of the fighting, which led authorities to use pepper spray on those on the field.
Nationally business schools have already reported a decline in M.B.A. applications. Now, an analysis from Bloomberg Businessweek shows that 21 of the top 30 programs saw declines in applications. Stanford University saw an 8 percent drop. Among those that didn't see drops were the business schools at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan.
Saudi officials have announced that King Abdullah has approved the creation of seven colleges, Arab News reported. The new institutions will include two medical colleges, three business-related colleges, a computer science college, and a college of arts and sciences.
Hungarian students have held demonstrations, and are planning more, in response to government proposals on higher education, The Budapest Times reported. Students are angry about plans to add tuition charges to more academic programs, and to change student loan programs in ways that would make it hard for graduates to work outside the country.
The Institute of Medicine, of the National Academy of Sciences, on Monday announced the election of 65 new members, and 5 foreign associates. Election to the institute is considered among the highest honors in health and biomedical research. A list of new members may be found here.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found no violation by Psalm 100, a Christian singing group at the university, in the way it decided to exclude a member shortly after he announced he was gay. The university bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But UNC officials said that they could not determine whether the student was excluded for being gay (as critics of Psalm 100 suggested) or because he expressed views with which the group disagrees (views supporting gay rights and disputing any conflict between supporting gay rights and being a good Christian).
Two Football Bowl Subdivision conferences announced Friday that they would combine their football programs to form one 22-team league. The members of the two leagues, Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference, have often been on the outside looking in when it comes to the high-profile Bowl Championship Series that crowns the national champion in big-time football. And the recent rounds of cannibalism involving other big-time-football playing leagues has left Conference USA and Mountain West vulnerable to raiding by some of the conferences whose own members have been wooed away by other leagues. "Rather than await changes in membership due to realignment, it became clear the best way to serve our institutions was to pursue an original concept," Craig Thompson, commissioner of the Mountain West, said in a news release. "The Mountain West and C-USA share a number of similarities, and the creative merger of our football assets firmly positions our respective members for the future."