WENR, October 2018: Americas

Mexico: Mexican universities face bankruptcy and closure

Unless federal government ministers decide to commit around 4 billion pesos (approximately USD $212 million) in emergency funding, the end of the school year may bring bankruptcies, unpaid salaries, and in some cases closure to a number of universities. Outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto is often criticized for favoring privatization and under-funding state schools. During his campaign, the incoming president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, promised to open 100 new public universities in his first term. Sector leaders are especially concerned about the viability of that promise, especially given the current financial shape of the public university system.

Times Higher Education
October 10

U.S.: Demand for graduate business studies up globally, bar dips in US

According to a report from the Graduate Management Admission Council, a global dip in the demand for business management courses in 2017 has stabilized. While good news for market generally, advances in many regions and countries like Canada and the Asia-Pacific are offset by a 7% drop off in the U.S. Though there are potentially many factors behind the shift, strong local unemployment rates are putting pressure on the opportunity costs of studying abroad – where staying in your home country with a steady job is much less of a burden.

The PIE News
October 10

Brazil: One-third of Brazilian universities deemed irregular

According to a research report from Folha De SPaulo, 68 of 196 (34.7 percent) Brazilian universities do not live up up to the legal precedence for university recognition set forth in the Brazilian constitution. The Education Guidelines act of 1996, and ensuing legislation mandate that universities must have at least one doctoral and four master’s programs, as well as must maintain at least one-third of their faculty at full-time status. These requirements are set forth in order to encourage universities to maintain strong levels of academic research, as well as excellence in the classroom.

University World News
October 5

U.S.: Trump Administration Discussed Barring Chinese Students from the U.S.

According to the Financial Times, White House Aide Stephen Miller, an immigration hardliner, proposed to stop issuing student visas to Chinese nationals in White House discussions last spring. Part of the discussions focused on concerns that the Chinese government is gaining too much influence on U.S. campuses and could use Chinese students and researchers as intelligence collectors. But Miller also argued that “his plan would … hurt elite universities whose staff and students have been highly critical of Mr. Trump”. Other advisers opposed the plan because of economic ramifications and negative implications for smaller U.S. institutions beyond the Ivy League. The proposal was dismissed, but sources told the Financial Times that they are concerned that Trump could revisit the issue amid the escalating trade war with China.

Financial Times
October 2

Posted in Americas, Regional News Summaries