News Items from the Week of January 26, 2018

International

Progress in higher education hampered by poor schools | There is no dearth of demand for higher education in India. In fact, the share of the population enrolling on higher education courses in the country is higher than that in other countries with comparable levels of development. But the quality of that higher education is a concern.

Data Drive: Correcting education’s course -What the latest Annual Status of Education Report reveals | The All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2016-17 has reported marginal improvement in the gross enrolment ratio (GER)—25.2% in 2016-17, compared with 21.5% in 2012-13—and the gender gap in higher studies enrolment is reducing.

Take the next leap: To overcome the crisis that besets Indian higher education today, leapfrog to Education 4.0 | Universities in India are more territorial than universal. It is difficult for students from one Indian state to get admission in a university of another state. The affiliation system of universities have killed autonomy of institutions. The education regulators UGC and AICTE still continue to be fixated on land size, laboratories, library buildings and lecture hours.

U.S. National

International Student Numbers Decline | The number of international students in the U.S. fell by 2.2 percent at the undergraduate level and 5.5 percent at the graduate level from fall 2016 to 2017, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation, “Science and Engineering Indicators,” released last week.

In overhauling the federal higher-education law, Congress must make sure all students count | PROSPER would publish average earnings for each major at each college for a partial subset of students, ignoring results for the 30 percent of students who do not receive federal financial aid. In other words, some students won’t count.

Outlook for Higher Ed in 2018 Is Bleak, Ratings Agency Says | Higher education will face many of the same challenges in 2018 that it has in previous years, but additional state and federal pressures suggest a bleak outlook for the sector this year, according to the ratings agency Standard and Poor’s.

AAC&U Annual Meeting Addresses Evolving Role of Higher Education | Centering around the theme “Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive Dream?” institutional administrators and other education leaders gathered at the 104th annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to discuss higher education’s role in helping students achieve the “American dream” despite emerging discourse that the two are disconnected.

U.S. States

State Spending on Higher Education Has Inched Upward. But Most Public Colleges Can’t Celebrate. | Over all, state appropriations for colleges were 1.6 percent higher for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1 for most states, than in the previous one, according to the annual “Grapevine” survey, compiled by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers, known as Sheeo.

‘Anemic’ State Funding Growth | States’ financial support for higher education grew only slightly between the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, with more than a third of states decreasing their funding and another dozen increasing it only slightly, according to an annual survey released today.

Rural Recruiting Problems | Dual-enrollment programs, in which high school students receive credit for college-level courses, have been growing rapidly. But a recent accreditor clarification about the required credentials for instructors who teach early-college-credit programs has highlighted problems relating to equity, insufficient data and the pipeline of instructors for some colleges and states.

IBHE: There is a need for bold changes for Illinois’ higher education system | The Illinois Board of Higher Education agrees with the urgency for bold initiatives and is poised to play a central role in that change. In 2002, only 29 percent of the four-year, college-going Illinois high school graduates enrolled outside the state, but by 2016, 46 percent of the high school graduates enrolled in out-of-state colleges. In the 14 years that passed, our research finds that the rate of out-of-state enrollment increased by over 57 percent.

Higher education cuts unlikely, but some colleges could lose | While both the Legislative Finance Committee and the Higher Education Department have recommended flat higher education spending for the year that begins July 1, many schools could receive less state money based on a performance-based funding formula. New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Barbara Damron said rewarding success is a smart way to allocate tax dollars.

College leaders raise alarm of Cuomo’s ‘major assault on higher education’ | A year after criticizing private colleges and universities for charging “exorbitant tuition rates,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now proposes eliminating $30 million in unrestricted state money those institutions use to provide more financial aid for students. Presidents of some private colleges – still frustrated by Cuomo’s move last year to bring free tuition to public colleges and universities – were further irked by his latest proposal. It comes even as the governor’s budget calls for more than $100 million in spending increases elsewhere in higher education, including expansion of the free-tuition Excelsior Scholarships.

Affordability issues pushing students out of state, report says | New Jersey’s higher education is expensive, unattractive to in-state students and lacks the necessary skill building needed to succeed in the workforce, according to a report released Thursday by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s Education Task Force.

Institutional

New Bid to Overhaul College Admissions | A report issued last week by the Learning Policy Institute and EducationCounsel proposes that…high school assessments could be the basis of new and improved ways to admit students to college. The institute is a research organization, and EducationCounsel is a legal organization that has played a key role in defending the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

Parkside working to meet new metrics in outcomes-based funding model | As the start of the spring semester nears at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and students work toward graduation, the university itself is working toward its own goals — meeting new state performance-based measures.

The Pressure on Provosts | Provosts are generally confident of free speech rights at their own colleges and universities, but many are worried about the situation more broadly in higher education, according to the 2018 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers, conducted by Gallup and answered by 516 provosts or chief academic officers.

Endowments Rebound, but Is It Enough? | College and university endowment returns rose to their highest level in three years in the fiscal year ending June 2017, rebounding from a down prior year to average 12.2 percent, net of fees. It was the highest average net return since fiscal 2014, when returns averaged 15.5 percent, according to an annual study released today from the National Association of College and University Business Officers and asset management firm Commonfund.

Higher Learning Commission Recommends Probation for ECC | A Higher Learning Commission team that visited East Central College last year is currently recommending the college be put on probation due to several areas of concern with the college’s internal operations.

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