WENR, May 2017: The Americas

North America: Call to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Higher Ed Partnerships in New Political Era

Amid mounting tension between the U.S. and Mexico, the American Council on Education has released a report emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong partnerships between the two countries’ higher education institutions. The report highlights the need to collaborate on issues such as safety, access, and reciprocity to ensure that programs remain sustainable despite political strife. While most partnerships are between individual institutions, the report advocates for the creation of organizations or institutional centers that focus on cross border engagement and alliances among consortia of several universities to ensure sustainability.

The PIE News
April 28, 2017

Brazil: Government Unveils New STEM Funding Program

Brazil has announced that they will be replacing the Science without Borders with a new initiative “More Science, More Development,” slated to launch this summer. The program will be geared towards post-graduate students and recently graduated researchers. It seeks to strengthen international partnerships, further internationalize Brazilian campuses, and limit brain drain.  International universities seeking partnerships in Brazil are advised to reach out to Brazilian institutions well ahead of the October, 2017 deadline for proposals.

The PIE News
April 18, 2017

U.S.:  New York to Cover Cost of College Tuition for Middle-Class Students

In early April, New York became the first state ever to offer tuition-free college to qualified middle-class students. The Excelisor Scholarship will be available to students at the State University of New York and City University of New York whose families earn less than USD $100,000 a year. (It will not be open to lower-income students who quality for one of the existing grant programs.) Scholarship recipients must take at least 30 credits a year to qualify, and must stay and work in New York for the same length of time as their scholarship funding, or they will be required to pay off a loan equal to the amount of scholarship money they received.

CNN Money
April 10, 2017

Canada: Chinese High Schools Cropping up on University Campuses

In a bid to increase revenue and boost internationalization, universities in the province of British Columbia have begun to lease out space to Chinese private high schools.  One high school was established last fall; two others are slated to open this fall.  The hope among university administrators is that their institutions will become a “next step” for secondary students who enroll. The institutions are also seeking to drive greater brand awareness in China in order to attract more enrollments. Critics say that allowing private companies on publicly funded land raises ethical concerns, namely these schools are prioritizing profits over the needs of the current university students and overall community.

National Post
April 9, 2017

U.S.: High School Journalists’ Investigation into Fraudulent Credentials Lead to Resignation

A high school principal in Kansas has stepped down after a group of student journalists called her academic credentials into question. After Amy Robertson was hired in early March, student staff on the Booster Redux newspaper at Pittsburg High School noticed some red flags on her résumé. Over weeks of investigation and research they discovered that Corllins University, where Robertson claimed to have received her master’s and doctorate degrees, was  a suspected diploma mill. When questioned, Robertson alleged that Corllins was in fact accredited when she attended, although there is no evidence to support this claim. She was then unable to produce evidence of her undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa. She submitted her resignation on April 4th.

The Washington Post
April 5, 2017

U.S.: New CUNY Initiative to Fight Fake News

City University of New York’s journalism school will be the host a new program to fight the proliferation of fake news. Funded by tech companies such as Facebook and Mozilla, and other non-profits and academic institutions, the News Integrity Initiative aims to not only fight the scourge of fake news, but also increase news literacy and restore faith in journalism, ultimately leading to a more informed global audience.

April 4, 2017

Posted in Americas, Regional News Summaries

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