Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 12, 2014

The presidents of Israel's universities have issued a joint letter to the presidents of American colleges and universities that have opposed the boycott of Israeli universities endorsed by the American Studies Association and others. "We do not take for granted the solidarity and support of the heads of the leading, most important universities in the United States and throughout the entire academic world," the letter says. "We both thank you for your courage and for your steadfast adherence to the principles of free and independent scientific thought."

 

 

February 12, 2014

One way to make federal financial aid go further in a time of rising tuition prices is to link Pell Grant awards to students' academic readiness and performance in college, Isabel Sawhill, co-director of the Brookings Institution's Center on Children and Families and the Budgeting for National Priorities Project, argues in an essay published today by EducationNext. Another scholar, Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, offers a counterpoint, arguing that conditioning Pell Grants on academic performance would decrease, not increase, their cost effectiveness.

February 12, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Marie-Claire Beaulieu of Tufts University discusses how the Internet has increased access to ancient texts. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

February 12, 2014

GRE volume was up about 5 percent in the United States in 2013, and by larger percentages in some other countries. Among all countries outside the United States, GRE test-taking was up 30 percent, and the figure was up 70 percent in India, the Educational Testing Service announced.

 

 

February 12, 2014

The career center at New York University, responding to student pressure, is asking more of entities wanting to list internships in a database, ProPublica reported. Going forward, internship providers must indiate that unpaid internships meet Labor Department standards. In the past, many such internships didn't meet those standards.

February 12, 2014

Young adults with college degrees enjoy a significant economic edge over their peers who lack one, according to a study published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. The study, "The Rising Cost of Not Going to College," mines Census and survey data to compare today's 25- to 32-year-olds with their peers in previous generations. It finds that full-time workers in that cohort with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $17,500 more than their peers with only a high school diploma, and that that difference is bigger than it was comparably situated adults in Generation X and Baby Boomers. That's true even though a larger share of today's 25-to-32-year-olds (34 percent) has bachelor's degrees than was true in the previous generations.

February 12, 2014

The Common Application announced Tuesday that it is keeping the current essay prompts (and word limit of 650 words). When the prompts were introduced last year, they received mix reviews, but the Common Application announcement said that a survey found that 70 percent of member colleges and 90 percent of school counselors approved of the prompts. They are:

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.  What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
February 12, 2014

The Indian arm of Penguin Random House has agreed to pull from the market all copies of a University of Chicago scholar's 2009 book on Hinduism that came under attack from some conservatives in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported. The book, "The Hindus: An Alternative History," by Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at Chicago, was withdrawn as part of a settlement (obtained by the Journal) with a nationalist group that had complained about the book. In a statement, Doniger said she was "deeply troubled by what it foretells for free speech in India in the present, and steadily worsening, political climate."

February 12, 2014

Bob Jones University is facing criticism for halting a study that it commissioned on the institution's response to sex abuse, The New York Times reported. The university has been vague about why it called off the investigation, just as the company hired to do it was wrapping up interviews. Those who gave interviews are feeling particularly vulnerable, having told their stories and now learning that nothing will be done to fix problems. Generally, the issues explored by the investigation have focused on reports that the university was dismissive of students who reported that they had been abused, and discouraged them from reporting the abuse, the Times said.

 

February 12, 2014

Kent State University has suspended a wrestler from its team after he used anti-gay slurs on Twitter to talk about this week's news that a college football star came out as gay. While the Twitter comments have been removed, they were saved on the website Outrage DC and show Sam Wheeler, the wrestler writing about "that fag from mizzou." Jim Andrassy, head wrestling coach at the university issued this statement: "As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter. I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward."


 

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