Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 7, 2016

TeensTalk, an annual survey of college freshmen and high school students preparing to apply to college, is conducted by Chegg and Stamats. Among this year's findings:

  • Nearly one-third of students report researching at least 10 colleges as possible places to apply.
  • More students report getting serious about their college searches in their junior year, as opposed the senior year, the norm in the past.
  • Potential applicants place a high value on ease of application. They report that application fees and additional required essays can be barriers to applying.

The full survey results may be found here.

November 7, 2016

Egypt’s minister of higher education recently directed private universities to review all research papers and dissertations to make sure they do not include “direct or indirect insult to societies or individuals belonging to any brotherly or friendly countries,” the Cairo-based Mada Masr reported.

In the directive published Oct. 15, the minister of higher education, Ashraf al-Shihy, wrote, “I hope that this obligation will include every stage of preparing the thesis, from the study and the research at its inception, ending with its declaration and official publishing approval.” Mada Masr reported that a spokesman for the minister and the head of the country's Council of Private Universities were not available for comment.

November 7, 2016

The University of St. Joseph, in Connecticut, is creating a committee that will study whether the women's college should admit men, The Hartford Courant reported. The university (which already enrolls men in some programs for adult learners) has 747 women in its main undergraduate program, down by 58 students since 2012. Officials stressed that no final decision has been made, but that admitting men and growing enrollment might result in a better experience for all students.

November 7, 2016

Dual enrollment -- in which high school students can earn some college credits for courses at their high schools -- has become widespread. A new report from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, conducted with support from Hobsons, noted these programs' prevalence and some of the motives of colleges for supporting them. Key findings:

  • 86 percent of college offer some dual enrollment credit.
  • Public institutions are more likely than private institutions to do so.
  • More than 75 percent of colleges view dual enrollment as a recruiting tool.
November 7, 2016

Poland’s right-wing government has extended an investigation into a Princeton University-based Holocaust scholar who made the controversial claim that Poles killed more Jews than Germans during World War II, the Associated Press reported.

Polish prosecutors are investigating whether Jan Tomasz Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. A prosecutor recently ordered the extension of the investigation into Gross, a Polish-American, until April, overruling a lower-ranked prosecutor who recommended that the case be dropped.

A Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, described the investigation into Gross as “alarming,” saying it “bears all the hallmarks of a political witch hunt.”

November 7, 2016

ACT is closing all of its 32 existing test centers in South Korea for the remainder of the academic year and shifting all testing in the country to a single site to be monitored directly by ACT staff from the U.S. in response to what the nonprofit college entrance test provider described as “repeated test material breaches” in the country.

“We can no longer continue to let the criminal actions of a few unscrupulous individuals undermine the efforts of hardworking, honest students,” Suzana Delanghe, ACT’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “Moving to a single testing venue directly monitored by ACT staff members will allow ACT to have greater oversight on the testing process, improving test security and fairness.”

The December administration of the ACT in South Korea will be at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul. ACT said locations for test dates in 2017 will be announced by Jan. 31.

ACT canceled its June administration of the ACT at 56 test centers in South Korea and Hong Kong due to what it called a “verified” report that some people had obtained test materials prior to the test.

November 7, 2016

Today on the Academic Minute, Sherry Linkon, professor of English at Georgetown University, delves into deindustrialization and how it can affect working-class voters this election cycle. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

November 7, 2016

A student theater group at Queen's University, in Canada, has called off a production of Othello amid backlash over the decision to cast a white woman as the lead, a role more typically portrayed by a black man.

A statement posted on the theater group's Facebook page said in part, "Theater is about taking risks, and we tried to take one. The result of this was a problematic decision that caused people within this community to feel oppressed, and for that we are greatly sorry. It was never our intention to have people of color feel as though their identities were being invalidated, and in doing so, we acknowledge that it was not okay. We have spoken personally with some people who have come forward and are more than willing to [speak] with anyone else to express our sympathetic apologies. Theater is a form of art, but it becomes unacceptable when artistic decisions are oppressive."

November 4, 2016

Harvard University announced Thursday that it was calling off the remainder of this year's men's soccer season, and would decline any postseason play opportunities. The news followed the discovery that a "scouting report" by the men's team in 2012 -- featuring sexist comments about members of the women's team -- continued up until this year, and that some team members were not honest about the continued existence of the document. A statement from Harvard President Drew Faust said, "The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential, and reflects Harvard’s view that both the team’s behavior and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community."

November 4, 2016

The University of Wisconsin Stout announced a $15,000 reward, funded by private donations and the university foundation, for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the fatal beating of a student from Saudi Arabia. The Council for American-Islamic Relations has pledged another $5,000 reward.

Hussain Saeed Alnahdi (at right), a junior from Saudi Arabia majoring in business administration, died Monday from injuries he sustained in an assault that occurred shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday near a pizza restaurant in downtown Menomonie, Wis., according to a statement from the university. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the police chief for the city of Menomonie said in a Wednesday press conference that authorities have not identified a suspect or motive for the assault, but have not ruled out the possibility it was a hate crime.

About 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Alnahdi at the university Thursday evening.

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