Higher Education Quick Takes
Israel's Council for Higher Education has given Ben-Gurion University's political science department three weeks to correct what the council sees as various failings, or to risk being shut down, Haaretz reported. The council has cited a review calling for the department to expand its offerings. But many in the department and many academics all over the world who have signed petitions on the issue believe that the alleged quality concerns are a cover for political concerns. Ben-Gurion's politics department is home to prominent critics of Israeli government policies and right wing groups in Israel have accused the program of being "anti-Zionist."
Public colleges and universities have an obligation to work on improving college readiness, and a special responsibility to focus on areas of concentrated poverty, a task force of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities says in a new report. "Serving America’s Future: Increasing College Readiness" argues that more aggressive efforts to strengthen not only academic preparation but also personal and social readiness for college is in institutions' self-interest as well as the national interest.
- 2012 Annual Meeting, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Nov. 11-13, Denver, Colo.
- ACTE Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo, Association for Career and Technical Education, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Atlanta, Ga.
- 128th Annual Convention, Modern Language Association, Jan. 3-6, Boston.
- AAC&U Annual Meeting: The Quality of U.S. Degrees, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Jan. 23-26, Atlanta, Ga.
- 23rd Annual Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values, Florida State U., Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Tallahassee, Fla.
These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar, to which campus and other officials can submit their own events. Our site also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education; please submit your news to both listings.
The majority of 18- to 29-year-olds are following the election and plan to vote Tuesday, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. The poll found that engagement had increased since July, as had support for President Obama among young people.
The poll found 67 percent of young people plan to vote, and that 52 percent plan to vote for Obama, 35 percent for Mitt Romney, and 4 percent for a third-party candidate, and 8 percent are still undecided. Whether college students will vote has been a key question for the Obama campaign, since young people formed the base of his support in 2008.
Under pressure from his board, Lars Hafner agreed Tuesday to resign as president of the State College of Florida, The Bradeton Herald reported. Two trustees -- who were not among those who clashed wtih Hafner -- then announced that they were quitting. Hafner's supporters, including many who work at the college, say he was a strong advovate for the institution and helped it expand. His board critics were appointees of Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, and said Hafner had failed to practice fiscal conservatism.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in a case that explores whether re-sellers can hawk cheaper versions of textbooks, produced for students overseas, to U.S. students. The case, the second the court has heard in two years involving what is known as the "first sale" doctrine, could have major implications for how much publishers charge for their textbooks, both in the United States and abroad. Accounts in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal of the court's hearing in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. described justices divided over the arguments made by publishers and by the former graduate student whose resale of foreign-made textbooks earned $1 million in sales a year and brought the wrath of the publishers. (Note: This item has been updated from an earlier version to correct factual errors.)
The University of Chicago on Monday announced new efforts to make it easier for students who go to high school in Chicago to attend the university. Application fees for the students will be waived. Loans will no longer be part of aid packages. And the university is creating an Admissions Academy that will help high school students navigate the application process, regardless of whether they are applying to Chicago or elsewhere.
A new report from World Education Services identifies four key emerging markets for international students: Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Vietnam and Turkey (listed in order of importance).
A main message of the report is that American colleges should diversify their international student recruitment efforts beyond China, India and South Korea (which, collectively, are the source of almost half the international students in the United States today). The report also identifies key opportunities and challenges in each of the four emerging markets. In both Saudi Arabia and Brazil, massive government scholarship programs promise a continuous stream of sponsored students, but significant percentages require intensive English training before they can begin college-level coursework. In Vietnam, rapid economic growth and a large youth population have fueled demand, but financing remains a challenge. In Turkey, building on collaborations is key: the country is host to the third-largest number of joint or dual degree programs with U.S. universities. Yet, cracking the Turkish recruitment market – which is heavily oriented toward graduate students -- seems to be particularly difficult.