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.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Colleges in several Eastern states announced plans to be closed today (and in some cases tomorrow and Wednesday) as a result of anticipated damage from Hurricane Sandy. Among the institutions closing are: Atlantic Cape Community College, Christopher Newport University, City University of New York (all campuses), Cumberland County College, Delaware State University, Drew University, Drexel University, Maritime College of the State University of New York, Monmouth University, Montgomery College, New York University, Norfolk State University, Princeton University, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Rowan University, Virginia State University and the Universities of Delaware, Hartford and New Hampshire.
Louisiana State University's board voted Friday to combine the positions of system president and chancellor of the flagship campus at Baton Rouge, The Times-Picayune reported. Officials cited an outside report suggesting that the move would promote better decision-making. Currently, a single person is filling both positions (on an interim basis). Faculty leaders said that they were not told in advance that the issue would be considered, and that they were not given an opportunity to analyze the implications of the change.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling is urging colleges to be flexible about the Nov. 1 deadlines many institutions have for early decision or early action applications. Nov. 1 is a common deadline for such applications, and a statement from NACAC noted that anticipated high school closures in many Eastern states could interfere with the work of counselors and registrars in finishing applications. "We urge colleges and universities to consider the difficulty students and counselors in the affected areas may have in meeting these deadlines and permit them to submit application materials beyond the deadline if appropriate," said the statement. "We also encourage you to take the steps necessary to communicate your institution’s plan to your applicants as soon as possible."
Some colleges are already announcing that they are moving back such deadlines. Marist College, for instance, extended its early decision deadline to Nov. 9.
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.
A U.S. Senate report Thursday accused the pharmaceutical company Medtronic of heavily editing and even writing sections of journal articles published by academic researchers on its consulting payroll, without those ties or the company's involvement being reported. The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana's Max Baucus and Charles Grassley of Iowa, said their 16-month investigation had found significant evidence of undisclosed ghostwriting of positive articles about the company's product known as InFuse. Medtronic disputed some of the report's findings in a statement, and an article in The Wall Street Journal included rebuttals from some of the academic researchers.
With their original name -- Georgia Regents University -- for the entity that emerged from the combination of Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University having angered just about everyone, the state's Board of Regents took another shot at it Thursday, voting to call the institution Georgia Regents University Augusta. Regent University, in Virginia, sued over what it said would be confusion caused by the name. Closer to home, though, advocates for Augusta State complained that the new name ignored their historic affiliation with the institution, and urged reconsideration. On Thursday, the regents did just that, adding the city's name to the new institution's.
The University of Tokyo is planning to shift the start of its academic year to the fall, and the move has been greeted with approval by many higher education leaders in Japan, who expect the move to prompt similar shifts elsewhere. The idea is that Japanese universities will benefit by being on a similar academic calendar to that used in much of the Western world, and that high school graduates can enjoy a summer vacation rather than starting their programs in the spring. But The Japan Daily Press reports that many parents are objecting to the plan. Their concern: They aren't sure what they will do with their children between when they graduate high school and when they enroll at a university.