WENR, October 2013: Americas


Students at Caribbean For-Profit Med Schools Cost Taxpayers

Students at for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean are amassing more debt than their peers at medical schools in the United States, and many of those students drop out before finishing, thereby creating risk for taxpayers, surmises a recent article in Bloomberg Markets [1] magazine.

Students at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine [2], owned by Devry Inc., amassed a median debt of $253,072 in June 2012 versus $170,000 for 2012 graduates of U.S. medical schools. And that gap is even greater because the U.S. figure, compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges [3] (AAMC), includes student debt incurred for undergraduate or other degrees, while the DeVry number is only federal medical school loans.

DeVry, which has two for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean, is accepting hundreds of students who were rejected by U.S. medical colleges. Many DeVry students quit, particularly in the first two semesters, taking their debt with them. While the average attrition rate at U.S. medical schools was 3 percent for the class that began in the fall of 2008, according to the AAMC, DeVry says its rate ranges from 20 to 27 percent.

Of those who remained, 66 percent of AUC students and 52 percent of students at DeVry’s other Caribbean medical school, Ross University School of Medicine [4], finished their program — typically two years of sciences followed by two years of clinical rotations — on time in the academic year ended on June 30, 2012.

Bloomberg Markets [1]
September 11, 2013


Brazilian Numbers Swell on U.S. Campuses Under Scholarship Scheme

More than 4,000 Brazilian undergraduates will be studying at universities in the United States this fall through the Brazil Scientific Mobility Undergraduate Program [5] (formerly called Science Without Borders), growth of more than 100 percent versus last year. The scholarship program, launched by the Brazilian government in 2011, has led to significant growth in Brazilian academic mobility worldwide, with U.S. institutions of higher education the biggest recipients. The scholarship program funds a year of overseas study for Brazilian undergraduates, primarily in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

According to numbers provided by the Institute of International Education [6], which administers the program in the U.S., the top fields of study are civil, mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering, followed by computer science, chemical engineering, architecture, computer engineering, environmental science and engineering, and biomedical science and public health. About 60 percent of the scholarship recipients have completed a summer internship [7] either at a company or in a university research lab.

New this year, the scholarship will also fund six months of intensive English study over and above an academic year. Of the 3,913 new Brazilian students enrolling at U.S. universities this fall, 2,681 are starting out in intensive English programs while the remaining 1,232 have been placed directly into academic programs. There are an additional 440 scholarship students who started in the spring semester and will be continuing their studies this fall.

To date, a total of 348 universities in the U.S. have hosted Brazilian students through the Scientific Mobility program. Top recipients are: University of California at Davis (118), Illinois Institute of Technology (99), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (91), Western Michigan University (89), and University of Utah (74)

Inside Higher Ed [8]
August 29, 2013


Rhodes Scholarship to Expand to China, Russia, Brazil

The prestigious Rhodes Scholarship [9] to Oxford University has for over 110 years been open only to students from the British Commonwealth, the United States and Germany. Now, thanks to a $120 million donation from a Canadian businessman, the Rhodes scholarship could soon expand to students from China, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere.

The donation is from John McCall MacBain, a Rhodes scholar from Ontario. The Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1902 by British businessman Cecil Rhodes, who made his fortune in the diamond business in South Africa. A strong advocate of the British Empire, he created the Oxford scholarship to help students from Britain and its colonies who demonstrated accomplishments in academics, athletics and leadership. The United States and Germany were included because Mr. Rhodes believed they were the keys to lasting world peace.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “More than 1,000 students from Canada alone have benefited from Rhodes scholarships over the decades. It is truly heartening to know that thousands more from around the globe will enjoy the same opportunity thanks to the vision and benevolence of the McCall MacBain Foundation.”

Mr. Rhodes left about £3.3 million, worth about £290 million today or $480 million. For more than a century, money from the initial endowment and its investments were enough to finance the scholarship, which now consists of 83 students annually from 14 countries. It funds all expenses for two years of study at Oxford, plus a stipend.

Mr. McCall MacBain said that because of the soaring cost of education and dwindling investment returns, the trust began seeking donations in 2010 to bolster the endowment. It has launched a campaign to raise £110 million, or $181 million. Part of that will go toward increasing the number of scholarships.

The Globe and Mail [10]
September 19, 2013


Government Invests in Future Knowledge Economy

The Peruvian government has taken an “historic step” by increasing investment in the public higher education sector, with a view to building a developed nation that depends less on raw materials in favor of developing as a knowledge economy, President Ollanta Humala Tasso said in September.

“The government’s decision to make the country less reliant on its exports and raw materials and, instead, to use the intelligence and innovative capabilities of our citizens should be seen as a national objective,” Humala said during the launch of an ambitious project aimed at improving the quality of education in local universities and technical institutes.

The PEN148 million (US$53.2 million) Public Investment Project for Higher Education Quality Improvement is being funded by the government and the World Bank. It will help dozens of Peruvian higher education institutions manage their accreditation process and access information relevant to continual quality improvement.

Andina [11]
September 12, 2013

United States

College Enrollment Falls by a Half Million

College enrollment fell by 467,000 in the fall of 2012, according to a Census Bureau report [12] released in September. The decline follows substantial increases in previous years. Between 2006 and 2011, enrollments at the undergraduate and graduate level grew by 3.2 million. Most of the 2012 decline came from older students (those 25 and older). Their enrollment fell by 419,000, while the enrollment of younger students declined by 48,000.

These statistics come from School Enrollment: 2012 [13], released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hispanics didn’t follow the trend, as the number enrolled in college grew by 447,000 from 2011 to 2012. Meanwhile, non-Hispanic white enrollment declined by 1.1 million and black enrollment by 108,000. From 2006 to 2012, the percentage of all college students who were Hispanic rose from 11 percent to 17 percent. The percentage who were black also rose (from 14 percent to 15 percent), but the percent of non-Hispanic white students declined from 67 percent to 58 percent.

In 2012, there were 19.9 million college students, including 5.8 million enrolled in two-year colleges, 10.3 million in four-year colleges and 3.8 million in graduate school. Students who were born in another country or whose parents were foreign-born comprised 32 percent of all those enrolled in school at all levels in 2012.

Census Bureau [12]
September 3, 2013

U.S. Scientists Look Overseas as Research Budgets are Cut

According to the findings of a recent survey [14] of 3,700 scientists across disciplines by a consortium of scientific societies, large numbers are reporting that their research and the way they spend their time have been severely affected by the across-the-board budget cuts ordered by Congress.

The survey — conducted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular in collaboration with other science groups — reported the following findings, among others:

ASBMB [14]
August 29, 2013

International Applications to U.S. Business Schools Flat Line

Growth in international applications to U.S. graduate business programs and in admission offers to international applicants both slowed dramatically this year, according to the Council of Graduate Schools, with international applications to U.S. business programs increasing by just 1 percent in 2013.

The decline in international applications to U.S. programs follows a big increase in the number of prospective business school applicants outside the U.S. The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that more than 169,000 GMAT exams were taken by test takers from outside the U.S. in testing year 2012, an increase of more than 19 percent.

The council’s findings suggest that many of those test takers applied to non-U.S. programs, a trend that may not have run its course. It’s a trend with potentially dire consequences for U.S. programs. According to GMAC, about 80 percent of full-time MBA programs in Asia had an uptick in applications last year, while nearly two-thirds of U.S. programs reported a decline.

BusinessWeek [15]
August 22, 2013

Graduate School Enrollments Propped Up by Increase in Foreign Students

The Council of Graduate Schools released data in September which show a modest increase in enrollments in graduate programs at American colleges and universities, with international students accounting for much of the growth.

From the fall of 2011 to the fall of 2012, first-time enrollment in graduate-level programs increased by 1.8 percent, to more than 461,000 students, reversing two consecutive years of declines, says the report, [16] “Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2002 to 2012.”

The number of international students increased by 8 percent, on par with a 7.8 percent increase between 2010 and 2011. By contrast, first-time graduate enrollment increased by only 0.6 percent for U.S. citizens and permanent residents over the same period.

In the fall of 2012, more than half—54.7 percent—of all graduate students who are categorized as temporary U.S. residents were enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, compared with 17.3 percent of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Council of Graduate Schools [17]
September 12, 2013

Study Minnesota Consortium Launched

In a move to attract more international students to Minnesota, 21 regional educational institutions supported by the Minnesota Trade Office [18] and the US Commercial Service, [19] have formed the “Study Minnesota” [20] consortium.

“We think that working together we will be able to draw more attention to Minnesota as an educational destination, which in turn should increase the international student populations at our schools,” Christina Hilpipre-Frischman, chair of Study Minnesota and director of international admissions at the University of St. Thomas, one of the member institutions, told PIE News.

The state is ranked 19th in the U.S. for the number of international students in its college and universities. Last year, just over 12,000 foreign students studied in Minnesota, bringing in US$319.2 million to the economy.

Institutions on all levels will be promoted under the Study Minnesota brand through a website providing individual profiles and links to members. The consortia will also jointly participate in international education and recruitment conferences, webinars, recruitment trips, trade missions and virtual education fairs. Minnesota joins approximately 25 states including Texas [21], Massachusetts [22] and New Jersey [23] that have combined forces to recruit international students.

PIE News [24]
September 19, 2013