Higher Education Quick Takes
The Institute of Medicine, of the National Academy of Sciences, on Monday announced the election of 65 new members, and 5 foreign associates. Election to the institute is considered among the highest honors in health and biomedical research. A list of new members may be found here.
The skills students learn from a vocational education may ease their transition into the labor market, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. However, those initial labor-market advantages fade as workers age. The study found that individuals with a general education are more likely to be employed at age 50 than are those with a vocational education. A general education was particularly helpful in countries that experienced faster economic growth and larger technological change.
The American Council on Education announced Monday that it and the other "presidential" higher education associations have created a new Commission on Higher Education Attainment. Among the issues the panel will address:
- The changing nature of students seeking a degree or credential.
- The ability of higher education to attract, retain and graduate the increasing number of adults seeking a degree or credential.
- The current capacity of higher education to accommodate the large number of students who will need to enroll if we are to increase the number of graduates.
- The opportunities to increase efficiency and enhance productivity in meaningful ways.
E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, will serve as chair. There are also three vice chairs: Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University; Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York; and George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College.
Currently, there are no faculty members on the panel. Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said that the members named thus far will be holding an organizational meeting and may well decide to add other members. He said it was "quite possible" that faculty members would be named at a later date.
In today’s Academic Minute, Charles Rupprecht of Emory University discusses the likelihood of rabies exposure and outlines efforts to control the disease in wild animal populations. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
Investigations are starting and fans are embarrassed after a massive brawl broke out Saturday night between athletes and some of the fans who had watched a football game between Southern University at Baton Rouge and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, WAFB News reported. The network has footage of some of the fighting, which led authorities to use pepper spray on those on the field.
Nationally business schools have already reported a decline in M.B.A. applications. Now, an analysis from Bloomberg Businessweek shows that 21 of the top 30 programs saw declines in applications. Stanford University saw an 8 percent drop. Among those that didn't see drops were the business schools at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan.
Two U.S. senators -- Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, and Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat -- have asked the U.S. Department of Education to gather information about the accuracy of key law school data, such as figures on job placement, student loans and other topics. The letter from the senators comes amid lawsuits and considerable public debate over whether some law schools are being less than honest about the odds of students landing good jobs. A statement from Senator Boxer notes that the request to the Education Department follows "repeated calls" from her "to the American Bar Association to provide stronger oversight of reporting by law schools and better access to information for students."
Seymour Schulich, a Canadian philanthropist, is setting up a $100 million fund to provide scholarships for undergraduates in Canada and Israel who are pursuing degrees in STEM fields, The Globe and Mail reported. Five Israeli universities and 20 Canadian universities have been invited to nominate potential recipients from 1,600 high schools.
Tripoli University has started, under new leaders, to try to transform itself for the post-Qaddafi era, The New York Times reported. Many students and academics are excited about the possibilities, but Feisel Krekshi, the new dean, told the Times that the challenges are great. He called the faculty "90 percent contaminated" and noted that the old curriculum forced students to spend much of their time in college studying years studying Muammar Qaddafi’s philosophy. “This was not a university,” Krekshi said. “It was a place of intelligence and torture, a weapon to support all oppression.”
In what is considered a breakthrough, Seoul National University has announced plans to start a Japanese studies department next year, ending what many have considered an unusual hole in the institution's curriculum, The Korea Times reported. Many Koreans remain ambivalent about studying Japan, given the treatment of their country by the Japanese during the first half of the 20th century. Several years ago, the university abandoned plans to start an undergraduate program in Japanese studies, in the face of anti-Japanese sentiment.