WENR, June 2018: Americas

U.S.: New 1-year limit for some Chinese students in US as Senate debates IP risk

The ease of obtaining visas for certain students from China is unclear. Concerns about the safety of sensitive information within some high-tech academic fields – like robotics, aviation, and manufacturing – were brought before a Senate subcommittee by the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Officials from Texas A&M and NAFSA provided testimony on the value of international students but also affirmed that the discussion on limiting visa-terms was not relevant for the majority of Chinese students.

The PIE News
June 11

Canada: Canadian University strike ‘harbinger of things to come’

More than 3,000 junior academics – teaching and research assistants among them – have been on strike at York University in Toronto since early March. Their issues concern job insecurity, and so the union is calling for longer-term contracts, year-round funding for teaching and research assistants, and more employment opportunities for master’s candidates. Many see the strike as having the potential to inspire more activism in the sector.

Times  Higher Education
June 5

Argentina: Tuition fees ‘not the answer’ as budgets squeezed

Alberto Barbieri, the rector of the University of Buenos Aires, argues against raising tuition fees in Argentina. Despite a lack of graduate-level jobs in the country he points to improvements in quality of life and an ever-emerging middle class as proof of the current education system’s value. He further highlights the success of his university even on a tight budget – four of Argentina’s five Nobel Prize winners were students.

Times Higher Education
June 2

U.S.: Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty

The maximum subsidy of Federal Pell Grants, which assist low-income college students, is $5,900 a year – adequate for community college tuition but not enough to cover food, housing, and other expenses. Forty-two percent of community college students in the U.S. have experienced food insecurity within the past month, while 12 percent were considered homeless at some point in the previous year, according to a 2017 survey. These financial realities contribute to low community college graduation rates: Only four in 10 students earn a degree within six years.

The Atlantic
May 30

U.S.: This Admissions Officer Changed Her Recruiting Strategy in the Trump Era. It Worked.

Morgan Volkart, associate vice provost for international recruitment at Lehigh University, has found a few opportunities for success in the current depressed international education climate. Though Lehigh has a generous funding package for all students – meeting 100% of their financial need whether they are domestic or international – Volkart was still concerned about reaching international recruiting targets. By offering more early decisions and targeting countries adjacent to those where Lehigh has had success, the target of 10% international enrollment has been met. Volkart also noticed regional variations in the concerns of prospective international students, with Latin American students being less concerned about Trump, for example.

Chronicle of Higher Education
May 29

U.S.: Lifeline handed to students left in the lurch by UT Tyler

Many universities in the United States have extended scholarships to students from Nepal who had unexpectedly had their full scholarship offers from UT Tyler reversed in April. The university had previously extended offers to dozens of students and had even collected USD $100 in confirmation fees. Around 25 of the affected students have found placements in a variety of other universities from around the world.

University World News
May 25

U.S.: #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarships

The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign was launched early in 2017 to counteract the increasingly negative view of the reputation of U.S. higher education in the wake of the election of Donald Trump. Starting with physical banners around some campuses, the movement has since gained a sizable foothold in social media. Temple University along with eight other institutions has now added a scholarship campaign to the movement.

Inside Higher Ed
May 24

U.S.: Europe trumps U.S. in the higher studies game

The Trump administration’s approach toward immigration, coupled with ongoing budget cuts in education, has U.S. universities increasing international tuition fees. The hikes are encouraging Indian students to look at other options like Germany, where the state sponsors international students. More aggressive U.S. visa guidelines for workers are further compounding the issue.

Times of India
May 23

Global: Limited tertiary ed access creating “lost generation” of refugees

Levels of refugee access to higher, technical, and vocational education and training are astonishingly low – currently 1 percent, compared with a 34 percent global average. This lack of access adds to already significant levels of stress as displaced people try to find some avenue to a better life. Mohamad Saad, head of psychology at The British University in Egypt, suggested at the recent Going Global conference in Kuala Lumpur that individual countries need to tailor their own approach to tertiary education for each refugee population.

The PIE News
May 15

Posted in Americas, Regional News Summaries