Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 10, 2013

London Metropolitan University’s license to sponsor visas for international students has been restored. Citing “systemic failures” in the university’s verification and monitoring of students’ English proficiency levels, visa status and course attendance, the UK Border Agency stripped London Met of its ability to host foreign students last August. This led to a court battle and concerns about the fate of the 2,600 foreign students then enrolled. 

The UK Border Agency said in a statement that a series of inspections over six months revealed that London Met had improved its processes. The university will be subject to a probationary period during which it will be limited on the number of international students it can enroll.

“This is excellent news for our students and our University, which looks forward to welcoming students from around the world who want to study at one of London’s most diverse academic institutions,” London Met’s vice-chancellor,  Malcolm Gillies, said in a statement. The university reported that it has already attracted nearly 5,000 applications from international students for fall 2013 and will begin “a four-month promotional tour across 17 countries.” 

April 10, 2013

An analysis released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics found that students who took out federal loans but later dropped out had a median federal debt load equal to 35 percent of their annual income, and that dropouts from for-profit colleges borrowed the most per credit earned: $350 per credit, compared with less than $120 per credit for students in other sectors. The report looked at student debt for students who enrolled in college in the 2003-04 academic year but did not complete within six years. It also found that 21 percent of noncompleters from four-year private nonprofit colleges, and 31 percent of students from for-profit colleges who did not earn a credential, had student loan debt greater than their annual income.

April 10, 2013

A new report from the Brookings Institution considers the geographic distribution of international students and their potential economic impact. While New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco host the largest numbers of international students, the report notes that smaller metro areas in the middle of the country have the largest numbers of international students relative to their undergraduate and graduate populations: leading the pack are Jonesboro, Arkansas (home to Arkansas State University), Florence, Alabama (home to the University of North Alabama), and Ames, Iowa (home to Iowa State University).

“If immigration policy changes to make it easier for foreign  students to stay and work in the United States after graduation, these metro areas  could experience the greatest impact in terms of access to a new labor pool from foreign students residing in their local economies,” the report, authored by Neil G. Ruiz, states.

The report also cites data regarding the disparity between the number of F-1 student visas granted, versus the number of approved H-1B skilled worker visas. While there were 668,513 F-1 visas approved in 2010, there were only 76,627 H-1B visas granted; of these, 26,502 went to foreign students.

April 10, 2013

Students, faculty members and some alumni have been raising objections to the selection of Kerry Healey as the next president of Babson College, The Boston Globe reported. Questions have been raised about selecting someone without leadership experience in higher education or who is seen as having entrepreneurial experience appropriate for the business-focused college. Healey and other Babson officials have been reaching out to various groups, seeking to win them over. A student petition states that campus opinions do not appear to have been sufficiently sought or considered in the search process. Prior to the selection of Healey, students and alumni waged an unusual campaign to urge the board to name a popular campus administrator as the next president, and he recently announced that he is leaving administration.

 

April 10, 2013

Mendeley, a cloud-based PDF- and file-management tool popular with researchers, has been purchased by Elsevier, the information giant, the companies announced Monday. Mendeley is especially popular with scientists, but it competes with Zotero and Endnote, among others, in helping scholars organize their digital reference materials (it has also added analytics and collaborative tools). While officials of both companies heralded the possibilities of the partnership between the innovative startup and the massive publisher, critics took to Twitter and the blogosphere to express concerns that Mendeley would no longer pursue an open access mission.read a headline on paidcontent.org.

April 10, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Aron Barbey of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign explains efforts to determine if emotional intelligence has a specific location in the brain. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

April 10, 2013

The job market for communication faculty members may be better now than it was before the economic downturn that started in 2008. The National Communication Association on Tuesday released data showing that it had listed 661 positions in its publications during 2012. That's up from 534 in 2011, 438 in 2010, and 351 in 2009. In 2008 (when most postings came before the economic downturn started in the fall), there were 597 listings. Not all communication positions are listed with the association, but the rise and fall of the organization's listings tends to reflect the job market generally.

 

April 9, 2013

The Iowa Senate on Monday rejected two nominees of Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, for the Board of Regents, The Des Moines Register reported. The votes were largely along party lines, with Democrats opposing the nominees, who fell short of the two-thirds majority required for confirmation. Critics of the nominees cited concerns over whether they would be supportive of academic freedom, but Branstad and other Republicans said that the nominees were treated unfairly.

 

April 9, 2013

Wikipedia editors have been complaining about a University of Toronto psychology professor who encouraged students in a class of 1,900 to start posting entries, The Canadian Press reported. Some editors complained about entries that needed corrections, or that were plagiarized. Some even suggested banning entries from university IP addresses. But the professor pointed out that only 33 of the 910 articles submitted by his students were flagged for review.

April 9, 2013

Rutgers University will commission an independent review of “the circumstances surrounding the men’s basketball program as well as the procedures used to investigate allegations related to former head coach Mike Rice,” officials announced Monday. The review will look at how Rice’s behavior was addressed, form recommendations on how Rutgers can “improve,” and should move forward quickly, President Robert Barchi and Board of Governors Chair Ralph Izzo said in a joint statement.

Four Rutgers officials, including Rice and the former athletics director Tim Pernetti, have been fired or resigned since video of Rice physically and verbally abusing players at practice was made public last week. Izzo revealed Friday that the chair of the board’s Governors Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics had – like the ousted officials -- seen the video back in December but failed to act, and at least one state senator called on him to resign.

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