Monthly Archives: February 2011

Obama’s Budget, Though Generous, Still Signals Austerity for Colleges

Obama’s Budget, Though Generous, Still Signals Austerity for Colleges | Paul Basken, Kelly Field & Eric Kelderman | Chronicle of Higher Education | 25 February, 2011

The article discusses the U.S. fiscal budget for 2012 that has been proposed by President Barack Obama and its implications for higher education finance. It is noted that the U.S. House of Representatives is held by the Republicans, who are demanding steep cuts in government spending.

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You mean Offa is toothless? The reason for policy chaos

You mean Offa is toothless? The reason for policy chaos | Rebecca Attwood | Times Higher Education | 24 February 2011

Ministers’ muddle caused by belief that access chief could ‘impose’ fees. The government mistakenly believed that the Office for Fair Access had legal powers to “impose” different tuition fee levels on universities and is now struggling to deal with the financial consequences of its error, it has emerged.In a candid assessment of the fraught policy position, Sir Martin Harris, the director of fair access, said that although he was unclear about how the government had come to such a view, he was sure that a solution would be found because “in the end, the Treasury always wins”.

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Risk-based approach to regulation

Risk-based approach to regulation | Andrew Trounson | The Australian Higher Education | 23 February, 2011

KEY legislation to establish the new tertiary education watchdog has adopted three principles to set up a risk-based approach.The principles are aimed at allaying fears among universities that they face a regulatory crackdown and burdensome red tape. It follows strong lobbying from the sector for a risk-based approach to be made explicit.

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Can’t Work? Too Bad. Pay Up Anyway

Can’t Work? Too Bad. Pay Up Anyway | Sasha Chavkin, Cezary Podkul, Jeanette Neumann & Ben Protess | Chronicle of Higher Education | 18 February, 2011

The article examines the loan repayment policies of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) federal student loan programs regarding people who have been declared disabled by the U.S. Social Security Administration. It highlights former police officer Tina Brooks and former carpenter Scott Creighton, both of whom have been declared disabled by Social Security, and their experiences in having their applications for canceling their student debt rejected by the ED.

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The rise and rise of PhDs as standard

The rise and rise of PhDs as standard | John Morgan | Times Higher Education | 17 February 2011

Fees hike may accelerate existing trend for new academic appointments. Universities are increasingly demanding that new academics hold doctorates in a trend that some believe could accelerate when the tuition-fee cap rises to £9,000 a year.The proportion of UK academic staff with doctorates rose from 48 per cent in 2004-05 to 50.1 per cent in 2009-10, according to data prepared for Times Higher Education by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.Some pre-1992 universities, such as City University London and Birkbeck, University of London, have made PhDs a standard job specification for all new scholars.

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Short-sighted Julia Gillard to blame for drop in Chinese students

Short-sighted Julia Gillard to blame for drop in Chinese students | Michael Sainsbury, China correspondent | The Australian Higher Education | 16 February, 2011

CHINA’S biggest student agent for Australian universities and colleges has accused the Gillard government of policy mistakes that have caused a sharp drop in student numbers from the $18 billion sector’s biggest market. Li Ping, chief executive of Beijing-based student agency Aoji, also has slammed the government for a short-term attitude towards Chinese students.

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Fast-Growing U. of Phoenix Calculates a More Careful Course

Fast-Growing U. of Phoenix Calculates a More Careful Course | Goldie Blumenstyk | Chronicle of Higher Education | 11 February, 2011

The article examines efforts by executives at the University of Phoenix to reform the school’s recruiting techniques, marketing approaches, and employee payment practices in order to respond to proposed government regulations and increased public scrutiny of the U.S. for-profit college sector. It explores how the financial growth of the company as an online private university led executives to question the purpose of the university and to initiate changes to the organizational structure.

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Offa may get legal teeth if too many set £9,000 fees, say Willetts and Cable

Offa may get legal teeth if too many set £9,000 fees, say Willetts and Cable | John Gill | Times Higher Education | 10 February 2011

The government has threatened to legislate to allow it to intervene in the undergraduate tuition fee levels set by individual universities if too many rush to charge close to £9,000.

In a letter to the Director of Fair Access today, David Willetts, the universities minister, and Vince Cable, the business secretary, reassert that fees at the upper end of the new threshold should apply only in “exceptional circumstances”.

“It is, of course, not within your legal powers to impose any quota for how many institutions charge what level of graduate contribution, and that is consistent with our policy of an autonomous higher education sector, where institutions take their own decisions,” the ministers write to Sir Martin Harris.

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Overwhelming load of red tape for new reporting requirements

Overwhelming load of red tape for new reporting requirements | Andrew Trounson |  The Australian Higher Education | 09 February, 2011

NEW reporting requirements under the federal government’s $500 million program to boost participation among the disadvantaged have been criticised for lacking evaluative rigour while creating excessive red tape. The government’s proposed reporting guidelines under the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program were released for discussion last week but left many equity executives reeling at the level of detail required, without there being an effective process for evaluating whether outreach programs were working. Under HEPPP, the government has allocated $505m from 2010-13 towards boosting the participation of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

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With 12% Returns, Endowments Regain Ground

With 12% Returns, Endowments Regain Ground | Jeffrey Brainard | Chronicle of Higher Education | 4 February, 2011

The article reports that college endowments in the U.S. averaged around a 12 percent return on investment for the fiscal year 2010. It highlights the large returns found at several institutions such as Syracuse University, Grinnell College, and the University of Nebraska, discusses the increase in funds used to pay for campus costs due to the U.S. economic recession, and provides tables which provide statistics related to the endowments of several universities.

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