WENR, July/August 2002: Americas


Report Takes Another Look at the MBA

In a time when the global business environment is changing and business-school deans find themselves asking how best to reposition MBA programs if they are to survive, a new report focuses on the future of the master’s in business administration.

The Economist Global Executive report, “MBA Outlook,” includes discussions with deans at top MBA programs from around the world, a profile of the most selective MBA program in the world (the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad), a look at entrepreneurship and the MBA, women and the MBA and the increasing number of MBA programs in Latin America. The report also talks about how much an MBA is worth and other relevant issues.

The Economist [1]
August 2002


U.S. Schools Woo Ontario Graduates

As Ontario eliminates its five-year high school curriculum in favor of a four-year plan, 2003 will see twice the number of graduates seeking admission to university. Hoping to capitalize on fears the province won’t be able to cope with the unprecedented surge in students, U.S. schools have begun an aggressive recruitment drive north of the border.

Amid speculation that as many as 30,000 students might be refused admission to Ontario universities, U.S. schools are pitching themselves as convenient alternatives. “Some students who may not have considered studying in the United States will have no other option because of the double-cohort problem,” said Stephen Dunnett, vice provost at the University of Buffalo [2]. “Coming to the border institutions may be viewed as a more affordable option than going out of province.”

The Ontario government insists that every qualified and willing student will find a home at a school in the province. Student trends suggest otherwise: the number of Canadians studying in the United States jumped 7.4 percent in 2000-01, and more recent figures may show an even more dramatic increase.

To attract students from Ontario’s class of 2003, U.S. institutions are stepping up attendance at Canadian recruitment fairs, visiting high schools and using mass media and direct-mail campaigns.

The Canadian Press [3]
July 22, 2002


Government Offers Scholarships to Kenyans

The Cuban government in July announced a five-year undergraduate scholarship program for underprivileged Kenyan students.

Ten Kenyan students have already been picked to start various degree courses in Cuba this September. Every year for five years, a similar number of underprivileged students will be selected for the program.

Currently – and completely unrelated to the scholarships – there are six Kenyan students in Cuban universities taking degree courses in pharmacy, agricultural engineering, veterinary sciences and general medicine.

The East African Standard [4]
July 24, 2002

The United States

New Immigration Policy Threatens Border Institutions

In the last issue of WENR, we reported a new federal policy that prohibits Mexicans and Canadians from enrolling part time at colleges in the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service [5] (INS) announced the policy on May 22 in a memo to INS field offices and to the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), a nonprofit organization that supports international education and exchange in higher education.

Officials at some institutions complained about the lack of warning with regard to the announcement. Under the new policy, part-time students in continuing education programs that started before May 22 were able to complete their courses through the end of the session but were no longer permitted to sign up for courses on a part-time basis.
As a result, thousands of Canadian and Mexican college students are barred from returning to school this fall, which will cost colleges and universities near the borders millions of dollars.

The potential losses are serious on both borders. El Paso Community College [6] in Texas stands to lose most of its 2,400 Mexican commuter students, $2 million in state financing, as well as tuition losses “too mind-boggling” to calculate, says one school official. In Detroit, Wayne State University [7] expects to lose more than 500 students, or 2 percent of enrollment, costing $1 million in lost tuition.

Schools are being forced to reassess programs designed to attract foreign students. The University of Buffalo [2] recently began promoting a teacher-training institute intended for a large enrollment of Canadians. Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education at the university, said that without Canadian commuters, the training institute’s enrollment could be cut in half.

“We now have no idea what’s going to happen to it,” Mr. Dunnett said.

Two congressmen from border states, Representative Jim Kolbe, Republican of Arizona, and Representative John J. LaFalce, Democrat of New York, introduced a bill in July to create a nonimmigrant visa category to include part-time students from Canada and Mexico. Mr. Kolbe said he thought the bill would not meet much opposition, but there is little chance it can work its way through the House, Senate and the Bush administration before the fall terms begin.

The New York Times [8]
July 8, 2002

Many Find School a Haven From Recession

Increasing numbers of people are seeking refuge from the recession by staying in school or going back to college to earn professional degrees. Law schools are experiencing the biggest rise in applications in 20 years, according to the Law School Admission Council [9] (LSAC). Business schools and other graduate programs are also seeing an increase.

The current trend is a reversal from late 1990s, when many students skipped graduate school for high-paying jobs at booming companies and “dot-coms.” In a report published last spring by the National Association of Colleges and Employers [10], the 415 companies surveyed estimated they would hire 36.4 percent fewer graduating seniors this year than last.

Applications for law school are up 17.9 percent for 2002-03. As of July 5, the LSAC counted 88,418 applications nationwide, compared with 74,994 the same time last year.

At the University of Connecticut School of Law [11] in Hartford, a record 2,914 applications were processed, up 46 percent from last year. The school expects to take in 240 students this fall, up from the 210 it normally enrolls.

About 7,400 applicants applied to Columbia Business School [12], up 26 percent from last year. The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education [13] received approximately 1,700 applications, a 38 percent increase.

Associated Press [14]
July 23, 2002

Research: Standardized Tests Don’t Give Complete Picture

Research presented at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science [15] challenges current standardized testing methods and traditional university application standards. The research concludes that testing analytical skills alone is not an accurate measure of future student performance, and that testing for creative and practical abilities should be added.

A Yale professor recently suggested in a study that intelligence consists of three components: analytical ability, creative ability and practical ability. He maintains current standardized tests do not gauge creative and practical abilities, so he developed – and tested – new methods designed to gauge these components. Among various other criteria, his test asks students to solve school- and office-related problems, to solve common reasoning problems with everyday math and to tell stories through captioned cartoons.

Researchers conducted these experiments at several U.S. high schools and colleges, and at one business school. The results, they believe, suggest these new testing methods, when used in conjunction with current standardized tests, provide a more accurate picture of a student’s potential.

The Guardian [16]
Feb. 19, 2002

Foreign Students Flock to U.S. Schools Online

International students, scrambling to secure a U.S. education before the Immigration and Naturalization Service cracks down, are turning to online learning in numbers not seen before.

Inquiries from international students were up 40 percent (64,000 potential students) in recent months at Tampa, Fla.-based Bisk Education [17], a company that has partnered with five universities offering Internet courses.

It is feared stricter reviews of applications for international student visas will dissuade many from coming to the United States, and universities offering online courses are poised to enroll some of those students.

Students from the Middle East – about 37,000 of 547,000 foreign students attending U.S. colleges and universities – face the toughest scrutiny in the refined student visa process, which calls for more thorough background checks and tracking students once they arrive in the United States. In November, the State Department said the United States would slow the process of issuing visas to young men from Arab nations so their backgrounds can be searched for any evidence of terrorist activities.

While the University of South Florida [18] (USF) won’t know until classes start in the fall exactly how many international students sign up for online classes, it expects to top last year’s figure of about 1,800 foreign students. USF is a Bisk Education partner in online schooling.
Other Bisk offerings are associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from St. Leo University [19], a master’s in business administration from Regis University [20], a project-management certificate from Villanova University [21] and an online nursing program at Jacksonville University [22].

The Miami Herald [23]
Aug 12, 2000

Three Community Colleges Now Offering Bachelor Degrees

Three community colleges in Florida have been authorized by the state to offer four-year degree programs. The Florida Board of Education [24] granted approval to Miami-Dade Community College [25] to offer bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and exceptional education. Chipola Junior College [26] and Edison Community College [27] were authorized to offer bachelor’s degrees through joint agreements with two state universities.

Chipola and Florida State University [28] will jointly offer bachelor’s degrees in business administration, nursing and secondary education. Edison and Florida Gulf Coast University [29] will offer several bachelor’s degrees.

The new degree offerings address the needs of the local work force. All new bachelor’s programs will be reviewed by the state each year.

— Community College Times
May 28, 2002