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PM hails new arrivals to Futurelearn

To the delight of Prime Minister David Cameron, five more U.K. universities have joined the British MOOC platform Futurelearn. On a recent trade visit to India, Cameron said he was “delighted that Futurelearn is expanding to include more British universities and the British Library.” The Universities of Bath, Leicester, Nottingham and Reading, as well as Queen’s University Belfast, have joined the MOOC platform, bringing Futurelearn’s tally of partner schools to 17. Prime Minister Cameron said that the initiative will bring Indian students “some of the best teaching and learning online from their home in Mumbai or Delhi.” Parr, Chris. “PM hails new arrivals to Futurelearn.” Times Higher Education, 18 Feb. 2013. Read article »

New Data on Global Competition for Ph.D. Talent

“A new paper based on survey data from scientists in 16 countries compares the relative strengths of the United States and other countries in attracting top Ph.D. talent. For obtaining a Ph.D. and selecting a postdoc, American universities continue to be highly regarded and benefit from the prestige of their academic programs and a perception that an American Ph.D. will help the careers of non-American scientist, the study found. But the survey found that Australia, Germany and Switzerland have made gains in recent years, relative to the U.S., in attracting Ph.D. students.” “New Data on Global Competition for Ph.D. Talent.” Inside Higher Ed, 18 Feb. 2013. Read article »

Multinational MOOCs

This article outlines developments with MOOCs on the global front. Many universities around the world, including Hong Kong University and the University of Alberta, have joined MOOC platforms at least in part to advance their reputations globally and become associated with top names like Princeton, Stanford, and Columbia. In the past year, Coursera has added eight foreign partner institutions and built a user base that is 66 percent international, while Udacity is working with universities in Austria and Germany to develop credit-bearing MOOCs, and has formed a research partnership with the University of Alberta. EdX has yet to partner with any schools outside the U.S. Redden, Elizabeth. “Multinational MOOCs.” Inside Higher Ed, 22 Jan. 2013. Read article »

London College Steps Up to University Level

In hopes of expanding its programs and global reach, a British college is seeking university status. Regent’s College in London has the look and feel of “a small liberal arts college somewhere in the wilds of New England” but expects to become a university in name sometime next month. Regent’s is made up of a liberal arts college and seven specialty schools. With ties to Webster University and Rockford College in the United States, it offers both American and British degrees. Regent’s charges more than a typical British university (£14,000 a year) but justifies its higher tuition with its strong international focus and low student-faculty ratio (14:1). One of the school’s long-term goals is to become need-blind. Guttenplan, D.D. “London College Steps Up to University Level.” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates

“China is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in what economists call human capital,” “using large subsidies to educate tens of millions of young people as they move from farms to cities.” “The aim is to change the current system, in which a tiny, highly educated elite oversees vast armies of semi-trained factory workers and rural laborers. China wants to move up the development curve by fostering a much more broadly educated public, one that more closely resembles the multifaceted labor forces of the United States and Europe. It is too early to know how well the effort will pay off. ” Bradsher, Keith. “Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates.” The New York Times, 16 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Ratings at a Price for Smaller Universities

For a one-time audit fee of $9,850 and an annual license fee of $6,850, universities can pay to be rated on a scale of one to five stars by Quacquarelli Symonds, the company behind the influential QS World University Rankings. Lesser-known universities can pay to receive star rankings in several categories, the best of which they can use to promote their institution. Doubt has been cast over the validity of this new ranking method, with some critics arguing that these smaller universities are simply buying stars for themselves. Some of the more prestigious schools on the QS list, such as Harvard and Cambridge, are awarded five stars without having paid for the ratings. Dartmouth is #113 on the QS World University Rankings list and does not have a star rating. Guttenplan, D.D. “Ratings at a Price for Smaller Universities.” The New York Times, 30 Dec. 2012. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim

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