Higher Education Quick Takes
The Institute of International Education released a report on Monday on the first year of the Brazil government’s Science Without Borders scholarship program. The 1,954 Brazilian undergraduate students who have come to the United States so far have studied at 238 host institutions. Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) are enrolled in engineering or computer science courses.
The program has sparked unprecedented interest in collaborations with Brazilian universities. More than 2,500 scholarship recipients are expected to come to the U.S. every year for the next five years.
In a surprise move, Grand Canyon University this week said it would not accept the gift of a 217-acre campus in Northfield, Mass., according to a corporate filing. Five weeks ago the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores announced that it had selected the for-profit institution after a lengthy search for a Christian owner for the property. Grand Canyon said it planned to spend an estimated $150 million to develop a second, 5,000-student residential campus at the new location. The filing revealed little about the about-face, noting only that the company had determined that accepting the campus would not be in its "best interest." However, in an interview with the Religious News Service, Grand Canyon's CEO said the city of Northfield had resisted the planned campus.
Israel's government is planning a number of new programs to promote greater enrollment and success of Arab students, The Jerusalem Post reported. Arab enrollment levels lag in Israel, in part because only 22 percent of Arab high school graduate meet the entrance requirements for universities, compared to 44 percent of Jewish students. Universities will be required to come up with plans for recruiting Arab students. Further, funds will be made available for universities to create programs to help Arab students improve their Hebrew, and information centers will be set up in Arab towns to provide academic guidance on preparing for higher education.
City College of San Francisco's governing board early Friday approved changes to its leadership structure, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The college, which is facing dire accreditation and budget woes, will require that dozens of academic department chairs go back to the classroom and relinquish their administrative duties. The move, which will save an estimated $2 million, was part of the first stage of a broad downsizing. Trustees also approved cuts to college-operated child-care centers.
Australia's government issued a report Saturday about the need for the country to engage more with Asia -- and education at all levels is involved with this goal. Among the recommendations: sending more Australian students to study abroad in Asia, adding to the study of Asian countries and languages at Australian universities, building research programs that link Australian and Asian faculty members, and making Asian language study (in Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese) available and encouraged in Australia's elementary and secondary schools.
Bradley John Witham and Mark Anthony Bustos, two IT officials at San Mateo County Community College District, are facing multiple charges related to allegations that they used district money to buy computer equipment and software, and then sold the items privately for their own profit, The Palo Alto Daily News reported. The two officials have entered pleas of not guilty.
In today’s Academic Minute, Kathrin Stanger-Hall of the University of Georgia reveals the connection between abstinence-only sex education and teen pregnancy rates. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
About two-thirds of the 510 students at Wilberforce University have requested withdrawal forms to formally threaten to leave by next fall if they don't see dramatic improvements, The Dayton Daily News reported. Students at the private, historically black university have raised complaints over the quality of facilities, safety, library hours, food service and more. Organizers of a protest last week said that they have tried to explain the problems to the administration, but that officials have not been responsive. President Patricia Hardaway said that she has an "open door" policy for students, and is working on many of the issues they have raised.
Education officials from Taiwan traveled to California last week to recruit students, The Los Angeles Times reported. About 1,000 people -- many of them recruited because they are Taiwanese-Americans -- attended the first education fair ever put on by Taiwan in the United States. Wei-Ling Chiang, Taiwan's minister of education, made the case, noting that undergraduates would pay about $3,000 in tuition, lower living costs than in the U.S., and that some programs are taught in English.