Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 31, 2012

These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar, to which campus and other officials can submit their own events. Our site also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education; please submit your news to both listings.

October 30, 2012

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.

October 30, 2012

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.

October 30, 2012

Halloween season tends to bring outrage over blackface costumes at campus parties -- and this year the discussion is at the University of Florida. Some students came to a "rock stars and rappers" party at a fraternity not only in blackface, but with black paint over their bodies, and their costumes also featured gold chains and saggy pants, The Gainesville Sun reported. The university's chapter of the NAACP posted a photo of the students on its Facebook page with the statement: "Students at UF had a party last night, and guess who they came dressed as? Whose party this is is not the issue but the fact that this is seen as acceptable is where the problem lies!"

October 30, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in a case that explores whether re-sellers can hawk cheaper versions of textbooks, produced for students overseas, to U.S. students. The case, the second the court has heard in two years involving what is known as the "first sale" doctrine, could have major implications for how much publishers charge for their textbooks, both in the United States and abroad. Accounts in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal of the court's hearing in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. described justices divided over the arguments made by publishers and by the former graduate student whose resale of foreign-made textbooks earned $1 million in sales a year and brought the wrath of the publishers. (Note: This item has been updated from an earlier version to correct factual errors.)

 

October 30, 2012

The University of Chicago on Monday announced new efforts to make it easier for students who go to high school in Chicago to attend the university. Application fees for the students will be waived. Loans will no longer be part of aid packages. And the university is creating an Admissions Academy that will help high school students navigate the application process, regardless of whether they are applying to Chicago or elsewhere.

 

October 30, 2012

A new report from World Education Services identifies four key emerging markets for international students: Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Vietnam and Turkey (listed in order of importance).  

A main message of the report is that American colleges should diversify their international student recruitment efforts beyond China, India and South Korea (which, collectively, are the source of almost half the international students in the United States today). The report also identifies key opportunities and challenges in each of the four emerging markets. In both Saudi Arabia and Brazil, massive government scholarship programs promise a continuous stream of sponsored students, but significant percentages require intensive English training before they can begin college-level coursework. In Vietnam, rapid economic growth and a large youth population have fueled demand, but financing remains a challenge. In Turkey, building on collaborations is key: the country is host to the third-largest number of joint or dual degree programs with U.S. universities. Yet, cracking the Turkish recruitment market – which is heavily oriented toward graduate students -- seems to be particularly difficult.

October 30, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Kate O’Brien of the University of Queensland uses population models from ecology to explain the challenges faced by women pursuing careers in academic research. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

October 29, 2012

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.

October 29, 2012

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.

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