Leighton Andrews, the minister of education for Wales, is calling for the merger of three Welsh universities -- University of Glamorgan, Cardiff Metropolitan University and University of Wales, Newport -- Times Higher Education reported. Cardiff Metropolitan has already rejected the idea. Andrews said that a merged institution would have "real critical mass."
Higher Education Quick Takes
State community college leaders say they are struggling to meet workforce training needs because of high unemployment levels and budget woes, according to a new report from the University of Alabama's Education Policy Center. The report, which was based on a survey of two-year system leaders in 50 states, found strained job training capacities at community colleges in 35 states. And federal workforce training funds have been exhausted in 21 states, according to the report. "Right now, workforce training is an underfunded Band-Aid," said Stephen G. Katsinas, the center's director and a coauthor of the report.
A federal advisory panel has asked scientific journals not to publish some details of experiments involving certain viruses, saying that the information could be used by terrorists to create and spread deadly viruses, The New York Times reported. The panel does not have the power to force the journals to keep anything secret, and suggested that the journals find ways to share information with scientists to allow them to further advance work on the viruses. The editor of Science said that the journal was considering the request and might hold back some information.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling has named the members of a panel studying the use of agents -- paid in part on commission -- to recruit international students. The practice has been deeply controversial within the association, and its leaders hope the panel can point to principles that can guide colleges. The panel includes some college admissions leaders whose colleges use the agents, and others who do not. NACAC officials said that they wanted a range of views represented on the committee.
Indian lawmakers are considering another round of changes in legislation -- closely watched by universities in the United States and other countries -- that would allow non-Indian universities to open degree-granting campuses in India, Indian Express reported. Some of the changes would make it easier for prominent institutions, by allowing those deemed "reputed" to bypass some of the regulatory processes being created. Other changes may be challenging for some institutions' plans. For example, one change would require Indian officials to make sure that the addition of foreign institutions does not exacerbate inequities between rural and urban areas, given the concentration of universities today in urban areas. Many foreign institutions are likely to want to be in urban areas as well, but the bill would encourage the government to give preference to institutions locating in rural, less developed parts of the country.
Rebuffing a request by Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, the board of Florida A&M University decided Monday not to suspend James Ammons as president, The Miami Herald reported. The governor has pushed for the suspension amid an investigation into hazing in the university's marching band, hazing that has led to several arrests in recent weeks and that has been blamed in the death of a student. The board has already reprimanded Ammons, but resisted the governor's request. “We will stand firm against outside influence regardless of how well intended,” said the board chair, Solomon Badger.
The University of Cambridge and the University of Hong Kong have teamed up to recruit top students from China, Times Higher Education reported. Students will be recruited to the University of Hong Kong with the promise that the best among them, after a successful year there, will be offered a spot at Cambridge.
The Houston Athletics Foundation, an endowment that supports athletics programs at the University of Houston, lost more than 40 percent of its assets to a Ponzi scheme, the Associated Press reported. More than $2.2 million of the endowment's $5.1 million had been invested with a financial adviser for college basketball coaches who is believed to have set up the scheme and who committed suicide last summer.
The University of Michigan on Friday promoted news coverage of an open letter on college costs by Mary Sue Coleman, president of the institution, to President Obama. "Higher education is a public good currently lacking public support. There is no stronger trigger for rising costs at public universities and colleges than declining state support," Coleman wrote. In the letter, she praised Obama for recently gathering a small group of college presidents to talk about college costs. But in offering this public advice to Obama, Coleman didn't note that she was one of the presidents invited to the White House, but sent her regrets. A spokeswoman said that Coleman's "schedule wouldn't permit" her to join the White House meeting.