"In a significant one-year change that scholars say deserves more scrutiny, first-time graduate school enrollment among African-Americans rose in 2011, bucking an otherwise downward trend among all other groups, according to a new survey being released today by the Council of Graduate Schools."
This book attempts to re-imagine the purpose of the doctorate, which has historically been used to prepare leaders who will work to improve the sciences (social and physical), humanities, and professions, while articulating curriculum as a living shape where students, faculty, and institution melded in a humanist and creative process. Specific issues raised in this edited volume include comprehensive analysis of programs, rethinking evaluation and programmatic coherence, doctoral degrees beyond the discipline, subject, and field, and implications of individual identity.
DUBLIN, Ireland – Leaders in international higher education discussed the trends they expect to inform the future of the field last week at the European Association for International Education conference.
“We are in a period of very big change,” said Gudrun Paulsdottir, an international strategist at Sweden’s Mälardalen University, who completed her term as the association’s president on Friday. She summed up the key question of the conference as this: “Where are we headed?”
A panel on Friday that took up this question considered a wide range of topics, including the potential of massively open online courses (MOOCs), asymmetries in international exchange, the link between university education and employment, and the rise of research universities in Asia.
Stanford University is continuing a high-profile push into online education with a new open-source platform called Class2Go, which will host two massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, during the fall quarter. Beginning in October, non-Stanford and Stanford students alike will be able to use the platform to take classes on computer networking and on “Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries.”
The idea for the software started with a six-member “skunkworks” team in Stanford’s computer-science department, said Jane Manning, product manager for Class2Go. Over the summer, the team built Class2Go using code from Stanford’s existing course-hosting platform, called Courseware, and a similar platform from the nonprofit Khan Academy, along with software for integrated online classroom forums hosted by Piazza. Other colleges may add to the platform or adapt it for their own purposes, said Sef Kloninger, engineering manager for Class2Go.
"A new online education think tank that aims to expand the involvement of people of color in the growing national debate over how best to educate America’s children is being launched this week in Washington by a group of Black business and education veterans complemented by a broad-based corps of volunteers with special interests in education."
"A new policy statement by the American Historical Association suggests that history departments should publish records of where their graduate students end up working. And this means not just a few success stories, but details going back at least 10 years, while keeping current information on former students who move on to other jobs."
"Colorado State University officials on Wednesday reworded a job posting for an assistant professor in English, after angry faculty members across the country earlier this week complained that the ad was discriminatory. The original requirement asked for a “Ph.D. in English or American Studies or closely related area awarded between 2010 and time of appointment." Critics said that the ad amounted to a form of age discrimination and would also limit opportunities for adjuncts, many of whom earned doctorates before 2010 and have faced a terrible academic job market."
Employers say free online courses offered by such educational initiatives as edX and Coursera won't replace a college degree anytime soon. Companies including Intel (INTC) and Dell (DELL) say they probably wouldn’t hire someone who holds an online certificate rather than a degree. “Intel focuses on candidates with traditional degrees,” Gail Dundas, spokeswoman for the Santa Clara (Calif.)-based company, writes in an e-mail. A certificate could sweeten an applicant’s résumé, but only for those who already hold a four-year degree, says Lisa Soto Hegner, a recruiter for Round Rock (Tex.)-based Dell. “It definitely holds some weight,” Hegner says. “How much I couldn’t say, but it would give them some competitive advantage.”
A group of online-learning ventures is collaborating on a new kind of free class to be offered this fall, known as a mechanical MOOC (for “massive open online course”), that will teach a computer-programming language by patching together existing resources from open-learning sites.
Unlike courses already available online, the new class will not require a traditional instructor, or a large start-up investment.
The new course, “A Gentle Introduction to Python,” will blend content from M.I.T.’s OpenCourseWare, instant-feedback exercises and quizzes from Codecademy, and study groups organized by OpenStudy, and will be coordinated through an e-mail list operated by Peer 2 Peer University.
For years, Silicon Valley has failed to breach the walls of higher education with disruptive technology. But the tide of battle is changing. A report from the front lines. That’s when American colleges and universities will eally start to feel the pain. Political pressure will continue to grow for credits earned in low-cost MOOCs to be transferable to traditional colleges, cutting into the profit margins that colleges have traditionally enjoyed in providing large, lecture-based college courses. At the same time, people with huge student loan burdens from overpriced institutions will be undercut in the labor market by foreign-born workers willing to work for less because they incurred no debt in getting valuable credentials in the parallel higher education universe. Colleges with strong brand names and other sources of revenue (e.g., government-sponsored research or acculturating the children of the ruling class) will emerge stronger than ever. Everyone else will scramble to survive as vestigial players.
"Enrolling students of other faiths isn’t unusual at a Catholic college. Nor is employing chaplains from those religions, as DePaul does, to serve their religious needs. But DePaul, the largest Catholic university in the country, believes it’s going further than most of its Catholic peers -- and further than most in higher education -- to create a religious identity that is as much about interreligious cooperation as it is about Catholicism."
"Over the last few months most of us who work in higher education, as well as those who watch and comment on what we do have been fascinated by a singular topic: the MOOC. [...] They are very new, and no-one yet knows what they will mean or what role they will play. But many already believe that Pandora’s box has been opened. [...] For the first time in our existence, some are questioning the university’s purpose and future. [...] Clearly MOOCs are not the panacea, or a replacement, but they do contribute to a worldwide learning community, hungry to learn and engage with others who wish to do likewise."
The U.S. Supreme Court should continue to allow the narrow use of race in college admissions because it achieves diversity in ways that race-neutral policies cannot, a group of social science researchers argued Thursday during a briefing on the soon-to-be heard Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case.
On some campuses, professors are skeptical of the free online courses and of the speed with which they are being embraced.
As colleges scramble to offer so-called massive open online courses, or MOOC's, faculty members have found themselves struggling to keep up with those plans and to make sure their views are heard.
A dozen colleges, including Duke University and the California Institute of Technology, announced partnerships with the MOOC-platform company Coursera in July, and 17 more signed up this month. In some of those cases, faculty members had little input in the fast-moving negotiations, which took place over the summer. Many professors are now asking questions about what free online courses mean for their institution's future.
Online higher education 1.0 consisted of for-profit and non-profit colleges and universities providing virtual education that mirrored the classroom experience. It also included elite universities like Harvard and MIT providing free classes via YouTube and other platforms with no feedback loop or credentialing process. Online higher education 2.0 will likely see open classes combined with testing and credentialing processes resting on massive open source platforms. Imagine if this sparked a second renaissance for Western education.
"European universities continue to respond to enormous demand from international students for English-language courses, and should develop robust language policies that articulate an appropriate balance of English and other global and national languages in the curriculum, panelists said Wednesday at the European Association for International Education conference. English is well-established as the dominant international language of academe worldwide."
"From the high-profile perch of The Wall Street Journal's op-ed page last month, Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson trumpeted the findings of their new study: that African-American students who used New York City vouchers to attend private schools in a 1990s program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college than were black students who didn't win a voucher lottery. While the Journal's opinion editors may have been impressed by Chingos's and Peterson's scholarly skills, the findings probably earned a spot on the coveted op-ed page because of the researchers' embedded critique of President Obama's continued opposition to school vouchers."
Companies like Minerva, Coursera, and Udemy that promise high-quality courses delivered online are attracting a lot of investor attention. To date, online education has provoked a lot of sneering from folks who doubt it can deliver a product of similar value to brick-and-mortar educational establishments. But behind that is a real economic worry. If employers don’t treat online coursework the same as traditional coursework, that would limit the gains to graduates in terms of higher wages and greater employment prospects.
"For the sixth year the Guardian's Higher Education Summit brings together leaders of the UK higher education sector to clarify policy, debate and shape strategy and rise to the challenges faced at a time of transformation. We will explore future scenarios for the shape and structure of the sector across a range of topics including; international competition, graduate employability, cutting edge research, widening participation, finding efficiencies and student experience. "
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